Yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen (oh the glamour of domestic life) and all of a sudden I was transported back to being 15 and having a French exchange student staying with us. The Zoflora I was using – have you discovered this domestic all-rounder – was just like the perfume Geraldine wore. I don’t know what it was she used and I don’t think it was a kitchen, but for a moment there, my memory took me back to 1989 when I was granted a little kudos because I was hanging out with the cool French kids.
It made me think about the ‘Scented Mindful Aromatherapy Minis’ I was recently given and how much I love them. Like tiny pots of therapy, these balms come in five types and whether you need to focus, sleep or destress, there is a blend that works for you. Smaller than a lipstick, you can pop them in even the smallest of bags and keep topped up during the day. Not only do they help you regroup and relax, but they aren’t at all greasy and have a heady scent that doubles up as a perfume too, and one which lasts for hours.
Holiday Phillips is a Scentered Brand Ambassador and her story towards self-acceptance and happiness is one I wanted to share with you.
Tell me a little about you
My name’s Holiday (after the jazz singer Billie!) I’m a born and bred Londoner, but my mum is from India and my Dad’s Carribean. I’m a recovering perfectionist – for most of my life, I always felt like I needed to be better than I was. After years I realised that I would never be “enough “if the yardstick that I was measuring for “enoughness” was better than I currently am. I was setting myself up for failure. So I set about learning to feel “enough” just as I was, and that led me to the most beautiful path of emotional, mental and spiritual exploration and a journey of total self-acceptance. I started teaching meditation around 3 years ago – I’m now a transformational coach, meditation teacher, and DJ. Basically, anything that helps people feel amazing within themselves – I’m about that.
Your work sounds amazing, do you have a typical day?
I always try to but I never do! I live in Brighton right by the sea so most mornings I’m up early and into the sea as quickly as possible. Then I’ll do some quiet reflection. The rest of the day is ever changing – sometimes I’m up in London working on projects, other days I’m on the sofa watching orange is the new black all day (today!). I try as best I can to live my life in a state of flow, responding to what feels right in the moment rather than what I think I should be doing. I used to have all these arbitrary rules, like I shouldn’t watch TV in the morning or I needed to work 9 til 5, but I threw all those out the window and now I just do what I want!
Did you always want to work with people?
The funny thing is, at heart I’m a bit of a loner! If I had any practical skills at all, I think I’d be an explorer – travelling the world on my own on a voyage of discovery. I’m incredibly comfortable in my own company and love being on my own. But I’m also deeply called to do my bit to make the world a better place and I think a great place to start for healing the world is for people to heal the wounds within themselves. My parents tell me that even as a young child I would always see the beauty in people, and somehow had a knack for making people see the beauty within themselves and believe in themselves – so I think it is a calling.
How did you get involved with Scentered?
One of my friends knows Lucy from Scentered and we were talking about my work with meditation, trying to make it accessible and open and she just exclaimed: “you have to meet my friend Lucy!” We met, chatted about meditation, healing and the beautiful work Scentered is doing and the rest is history!
What is your favourite fragrance from them and why?
Ooh I love them all! But my favourite is Love. First of all the name! But I’m a sucker for anything with rose in it. I love the balance of the soft fragrant notes of rose and Jasmine the warmer feeling of patchouli and cedarwood – I wear it every day as a perfume!
What are the benefits of these products in everyday life?
For me, it’s the little moments of pause that they give me. Having a physical reminder to stop and breathe is so powerful. I use my balm every morning and just before bed religiously then throughout the day whenever I feel the need for a pause. There’s also a little sense of indulgence, the act of treating yourself with kindness and love, that is just gorgeous.
How do you think social media impacts the way we feel ourselves and our lives?
Well, I don’t use social media at all! I came off it around 6 months ago as I noticed the significantly negative impact it was having on my life and I can honestly say it’s gotta be one of the top 3 decisions I’ve ever made! When I was on it, my ability to focus was decreasing, I found myself more judgemental of others and myself and I stopped taking moments “in between” to just pause as I reached for my phone to scroll instagram. I do see the value in it in terms of connecting with people worldwide and of course finding work! And for those who can approach it in a balanced and positive way – incredible! But I think for most people it’s really damaging. When I get on the tube and I just see everyone staring at tiny screens and not communciating with each other or themselves it makes my heart sink. If I’m honest for most people who come to my meditation workshops and say they are struggling with anxiety, self-worth and the like – if I could only give one piece of advice it would be to get off social media, immediately and permanently. I truly believe that that will do far more for your state of mind than say 10 minutes of meditation a day.
How can we be more present in our lives and more content?
The truth is it’s when we stop trying so hard, is when we find peace. When we stop trying to be more peaceful we are at peace. When we stop trying to be happy all the time we find true contentment. My number one piece of advice would be to stop trying to make your life other than it is, it’s going to change anyway, and if you can just loosen the reigns a little and let it unfold as it should, I truly believe you will enjoy the ride. Stop trying to “get there” as there is nowhere to get, there is only here. Being present means being present for everything, not just trying to get to the good parts. So if you’re sad – allow yourself to be sad, if you’re super stressed – that’s ok too. There’s room for all of it. Move slowly and appreciate it all. When we realise that, life becomes much easier.
What do you do to escape from it all?
This may be very un meditation teacher, but my total escape is a day on the sofa engrossed in a TV series or a marathon of films! I get so hooked. At the moment I’m doing Orange is the New Black and I just get so involved, for me that’s like escaping to another world.
Ooh, I’m not sure! Chrome?
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?
I think it would be my grandparents and my great-grandparents, and all my ancestors before them. I’d love to hear their stories see their faces and just absorb all the generations of wisdom.
What is your life moto?
“Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be & embrace who you are” – Brene Brown