Jackie Stewart is a flower essence practitioner, writer, essence maker and creator of guided meditations to soothe your soul at Flower Spirit and Essence of Wild. She offers a wide range of Soul medicine for conscious living including the Emotional Balance Kit, Intuitive Diagnosis and Barefoot Breathing e-course for Soulful nature connection.
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Q1. What does wellness and health mean to you?
For me, wellness and health are linked to emotional health. I believe that emotional health underpins physical health and when our emotions are healthy and balanced we have more energy, feel good and live the lives we’re meant to. I use flower and crystal essences, yoga, nature and meditation to maintain my health and wellbeing as well as eating consciously.
Q2. What is the #1 wellness practice you live by? I meditate pretty much every day, even if it’s just 100 slow, conscious breaths.
This is how I check in with myself and become mindful of my mental, emotional and physical wellness. It nurtures me spiritually and connects me to my creativity and inspiration. The free 10 Steps to Soothe Your Soul in Nature experience I co-created gives you a framework to explore this practice.
Q3. Thinking back, what were your earliest influences regarding living a healthy and balanced life?
I’ve come to living a more healthy life though paying the price of not living in a healthy and balanced way. In my early 20s I suffered from debilitating migraines that lasted for days, so I began to take responsibility for my own health and well-being then.
On the quest to heal my migraines I fell in love with yoga, took flower and crystal essences and attended lots of holistic workshops to try to understand what my body was telling me. I’ve been vegan, vegetarian and wheat free at different times in my life. Now I simply listen to my body so I know that wheat, sugar and cow’s dairy don’t suit me and I know that seaweed, fruit smoothies and vegetable soups really support my body. When I listen to what my body wants rather than what my mind wants it’s always fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When I go food shopping I try to drop my awareness into my body rather than mind, so that my body is scanning the shelves to find what it needs.
Q4. What has your journey been like over the last couple of years to get you where you are today?
The last couple of years have seen me meeting some of my biggest challenges and living my biggest dreams. I think the two often go hand in hand because we find our greatest soul gifts in our pain. When we face our fears we’re forced out of our comfort zones into new territories of growth and learning and possibility.
I’ve transitioned from offering one-to-one flower essence consultations, workshops and meditation classes in person to offering a range of Soul medicine online. I’ve had no regular guaranteed income for about three years, so there have been huge leaps of faith fuelled by an incredible amount of hard work and passion.
I’ve learnt that you can’t heal anyone except yourself. You really can’t. You can’t heal other people and you can’t heal the world no matter how hard you try! That’s not your job. Heal yourself, moment by moment, step by step. The more of us that do that, the healthier the planet will be.
Q6. What is the #1 healthy food you love? The #1 indulgence you give into once in a while?
#1 healthy food – fresh peas straight from the garden grown lovingly from seed
#1 indulgence – dark chocolate
Q7. To get you through challenging moments in life, what is the one mantra or quote that you live by?
“All true knowledge comes only from within ourselves, in silent communication with our own Soul.” Edward Bach
Edward Bach is the medical doctor who discovered flower essences in the 1920s and 1930s and he was a real pioneer. Way ahead of his time in recognising that physical health comes from emotional health.
Q8. You’ve accomplished so much so far, what’s something you are most proud of?
Setting up a project to grow the Bach Flower Remedy plants at a beautiful heart-centred permaculture project last year. We think it’s the only place in the world that grows all these healing plants together. I set up the project and taught classes and workshops on flower essences for the local community as well as sourcing all the plants/seeds we needed.
Q9. What’s your advice to those struggling with finding their own path to health and happiness?
Listen to your heart. Follow your joy. Switch off from the computer and go outside. Take your shoes off, feel the earth beneath your feet and soften into 100 nurturing breaths. All the answers are inside you and the more you listen the more you’ll be guided by your inner guidance. When something feels right in your heart, do it. Your heart will always take you where you need to be.
Q10. Finally, what are your plans for 2012?
It’s a year of big changes for me and I’ve just stopped working with clients one-to-one so that I can focus on creating products and services that reach many people.I’m going to be launching new online packages that include guided meditations and workbooks. I’ve just developed the Emotional Balance Kit which is proving popular.
Healing the Inner Child Kit will be available soon, and I have ideas for two more before the end of the year. I get fantastic feedback on the meditations I create and my background is in publishing and book design so it’s the perfect blend of my skills to offer these kits.
My word for this year is freedom and I’m giving myself the freedom not to work so hard all the time, so I’ll be spending more time with friends and family remembering to play! The difficulty with doing what you love for work is that because you love it, it can be hard to give yourself time away from it then you wonder why you end up depleted. I’m spending more time in the garden watching the bees and dragonflies, drinking red bush tea and noticing the clouds scud past instead of being shackled to my computer!