In need of an attitude boost or a good dose of ‘I can do it’? There are few things more inspiring than real life stories of people who have transformed their lives, turned adversity into opportunity and ignored limitations. We’re shining the light on some of our favourite wellness warriors – we challenge you not to feel uplifted by their stories!
Jody Shield (pictured top)
Jody Shield’s life changed for good when she boarded a plane to South America in 2009 having quit her well-paid job in advertising. Her journey ultimately led her back to the UK and to becoming a well-loved speaker, author, wellbeing consultant and a meditation ambassador dedicated to helping people heal their emotional wounds and lead more joyful and fulfilled lives.
Jodi’s book LifeTonic draws from her training in multiple self-development techniques to help us overcome negative patterns. Having banished inner demons of her own with the help of the tools she calls tonics, Jodi is an inspiration to anyone who longs to change their life but feels nervous about taking the next step.
The autobiography of Tao Porchon-Lynch, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master, is a tale of wonder. Born on a ship on the English Channel, Tao made splashes in her early life by marching with Mahatma Gandhi, helping Jews escape during World War II, modelling for Coco Chanel and performing in cabarets as well as on the big screen alongside Elizabeth Taylor.
What this amazing lady has done later in her life is no less awe-inspiring. Aged 98, Tao is showing no signs of slowing down. Living by her motto “There is nothing you cannot do”, she’s a Guinness World Record holder as the oldest yoga teacher in the world, a competitive ballroom dancer and a wine connoisseur. If you’ve ever wanted solid proof that age need not define us or how we live our lives, remember Tao and her secret of living a joyful life:
“In my head I’m still in my 20’s, and I have no intention of ever growing up.”
Looking at her radiant smile, it’s hard to believe that Kris Carr has lived with a rare incurable stage-4 cancer for over a decade. This prolific author and speaker turned her scary diagnosis into the beginning of a health journey that has been an inspiration to countless people. She calls herself a cancer thriver, and with their message of optimism, her ‘Crazy, Sexy’ books and documentary have reached a worldwide audience.
Kris believes that living with an illness and being healthy don’t have to be mutually exclusive and advocates a balanced approach to healing that includes both Western medicine and lifestyle changes. She is enthusiastic about what she calls a plant-passionate diet and is no stranger to juicing greens, but her core message is to practice regular self-care and live as joyful and full a life as possible – a message we’ll happily get behind.
Clearly a fabulous force to be reckoned with, Jessamyn Stanley became a yoga starlet and a body positivity advocate by accident. After she started posting photos of her personal progress on the yoga mat, she found to her surprise that her pics had gone viral – people were loving the positive example she was setting. As a plus-sized yoga enthusiast, Jessamyn is showing us that the benefits of yoga are for everyone, regardless of body shape and size.
She now teaches yoga classes and spreads her empowering message through her book Every Body Yoga. She credits her yoga practice for her ability to have broken through many mental and emotional barriers and urges us all to focus on how we feel rather than how we look when we hit the mat – sound advice, we think.
Self-love is a topic close to our own hearts, so we’re excited to bring your attention to the work of Sophie Gray. Sophie hasn’t always loved herself or enjoyed looking in the mirror, but over time she has found practical tools that have helped her become kinder and more loving towards herself. Now her simple daily wellness habits are helping others do the same.
If you’ve ever felt that you’d be able to love yourself more if only you reached a certain goal (be it related to money, weight or relationships), Sophie is here to tell you that that there’s absolutely no reason to delay appreciating and adoring ourselves – in fact, it’s a must for living our happiest, healthiest life. Becoming your own best friend may not be the easiest task to take on, but it’s one of the most worthwhile goals we could set for ourselves.2