Well & Wealthy Guest – Asja Svilans of The Wellness Collective
Asja Svilans is a nutrition-loving whole food cook who loves helping women live a real(ly) inspired life every darn day. She chooses to do this through food, as it is so intrinsically linked with who we think we are. Food is a great medium to help uncover what is in the way of looking after ourselves and unapologetically loving the life that we are creating.
Over to Asja Svilans of The Wellness Collective
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I was born in Broken Hill, NSW and then moved to a few places in Central Queensland, on the coast as far as Mackay and a couple of years in Brisbane too before I turned 18.
Growing up in Blackwater was really fun, we were out in the bush, building cubby houses, and fires, up to lots of good, and no-good too. I still have a handful of lifelong friends from those early days – and those friendships are so grounding and comforting!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My earliest memory was selling thrice sifted dirt, bagged up and set up in a stall outside of my home – closely followed by pretending I was on cooking shows when making meringue men with smartie eyes. All my little bowls laid out in a row ready to rumble.
Make of those two experiences what you will!
Who is your business for?
The Wellness Collective is for women that want a safe space to not have to succumb to the barrage of stimulus that comes with messages around health and wellness. A space of love and deliciousness where they can see what they think for themselves, learn how they actually feel about it not how they think they should feel about it. The Wellness Collective is a business that inspires a real(ly) beautiful life, starting with simply real good food, but ending up in far more magical places!
Have you had setbacks and how did you get through those?
I don’t think anyone gets through life without setbacks, but my perspective to them has definitely changed – mainly a shift from “needs to change direction of life and be a milestone that means something BIG” to “wrap up the learning, build fortitude and carry on your merry way with effortless grace”. Getting through them has come down to two things that really come back to being present.
1. The ability to ask for help, and then learn to accept help.
2. The ability to send yourself more love when you need it the most. You have developed a tool kit of things that help when times are a little rough, and it is up to you to implement them. Forgiveness, meditation, letter writing, yoga, love, hugs…
What do you feel most proud of?
I am the most proud of my sister and her two littlies, I beam with pride when I speak about them and my heart grows bigger every time I see them. Making the conscious move to build my business near my sister when she had children has hands down been the best decision I have made – it was my first real solid example of leading with my heart and letting the head work out the details and it certainly has.
Now we are apart again, but these few formative years have been a blessing that I am so, so, so grateful for – as grateful as I am for Skype so I can play peek-a-boo with my 15-month-old niece, and see all the news things my 3-year-old nephew has collected at the beach!
Who are 3 people everyone should follow online?
Danielle LaPorte, Hemsley + Hemsley and Bianca Romeo!
What are your 3 best tips to ensure your body and mind stay healthy?
1. Lead with the heart the head will follow. Our whole body is wise, yet we are all really good at leading from the top end – which is a perspective giver, opinion former, and filtering system – it is so brilliant in its own right, but learning to feel into the rest of our bodies is a gateway to a really beautiful way to approach all part of life.
2. Dreaming is a beautiful thing, but getting lost in possibility can get in your way.
When we think big we can get lost in the details and overwhelm ourselves, set off in the direction of your dreams but embrace the little stepping stones along the way. For every woman out there prepping meals 7 days in advance, ticking off the to-do list of smoothies, yoga and spin classes and then seeing it as a black mark against her willpower or worth when things don’t go to plan. Within her is a woman who owns that she is tired, lacking motivation and asks for little help, drinks more water, stretches her body and adds in a smoothie to her day and then uses that extra little bit of sparkle to take the next step.
3. More water. Always more water. From hormone regulation, energy, cravings and whether you are wearing cranky pants or not – water has a role to play. We are blessed with clean water, so staying hydrated is the most simple and effective thing you can do for your health right now.
What does a normal day look like for you?
My day starts with a big snuggle with my man before I kick him out of bed and snuggle into his spot for a minute, scanning how my mind and body feel as I look out my window.
Then I am up for a big glass of water, a little meditation and for a run or walk along the ocean. I am blessed, as usually the sun is popping up over Hinchinbrook Island as I make my way back home. It is breathtakingly beautiful.
I’ll chat with my friends and family from afar over breakfast – living far away from them makes me grateful for phones and Skype – so sharing a meal with one of them, most days of the week is important to help me feel connected!
Then it’s emails, writing, planning, recipe development and taking pics before a swim and some laps. Then lunch with a podcast or book. My afternoon is similar to the morning, but by 5pm-ish I am in the company of my man again. We will walk, go fishing, have a beer on the deck and play some cards before some dinner. It’s a half hour of power online to fix up loose ends, maybe some Netflix or a book and then I am tucked up pretty early ready for some shut-eye.
Guilty pleasure: I am going to share something I used to find guilty and now find pleasurable. Guilt-free pleasure, perhaps? I love that I use guilt as a cue for where I need to throw some more self-love or a few moments pondering!
A year ago I could not go no a full day date, I would want to be back ‘getting ahead’ of my to do list. Now I can go 2 to 2.5 days of bliss in nature, without my phone and the world doesn’t end. It is deeply pleasurable (and another thing I am quietly proud of!).
Most grateful for: My health. My health allows me to be the best version of me for my friends, family, lover and the people that I work with – and those relationships mean the world to me.
Favourite personal development book: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Best app ever: I would say Audible, or Asana.
Favourite quote: “It is all figure-outable”
Best advice you ever received: “The short cut is rarely the best cut” or “You can never learn less”
Two reasons you rock:
1. I will take abstract, new or difficult concepts and break it down, then shower it with love and a little reason. Then I will laugh. I live and breathe that the dark ick can sit in the same minute as love, light and happiness – that duality is where good shit happens – and I will point it out with stack of heart all the time.
2. Cause I am a human. And humans all rock.
Want more Asja?
Exclusive to the AnnaJohnsonHill.COMmunity
Asja has a beautiful recipe booklet of 11 of my fave recipes to take you ‘From Dawn ’til Dusk’ that also starts to explore things like why she loves smoothies over juices, and what self-care looks like if you don’t want to be up at 5am and activating your crystals on the full moon. You can get your copy here.
Now we’d love to hear from you. The words, “It is all figure-outable” inspire Asja Svilans. What could you take action on with those words as your fuel? Let us know in the comments below.