Pettina and I at the head office of Noosa Confidential in Noosaville. This wall is so gorgeous and it sparked my creative juices, so I had to get a snap of us in front of it.
‘Wellbeing’ or rather – having a good relationship with your body, is realising when what was working, stops working, and you have to revise and review. There is no, one, perfect ‘bingo! I’ve hit Wellbeing. I’ve ticked that box” kind of option… it just doesn’t happen. Pettina, 2017
My first ‘interview’ for the Wellbeing Definition Collection is with someone I hold in very high regard, who I have also dedicated a post to, that explains a little of the beginning of my journey here.
We had a great chat – admittedly, listening to the recording, I did a lot of the talking (something I still need to work on) and a few things really stood out to me. She was gracious enough to answer these questions before we sat down to ease me into it, so a few things have been integrated with her answers.
Q: How do you define ‘Wellbeing’? #wellbeingmyway
A: I guess my biggest focus for wellbeing is ACCEPTANCE… don’t get me wrong… I am vigilant around an anti-inflammatory lifestyle… integrating diet, exercise, sleep, breath etc but I think the biggest mistake most people make is believing if you do all the “right” things you will be “well” (or heaven forbid, ‘HAPPY’) and the truth is that’s just not always accurate.
I have osteoarthritis which flares up when I least expect it, I can be maintaining all my rituals for ‘Wellbeing’ but work stress creeps up on me, cortisol levels spike, joints become inflamed and I have to stop moving, avoid raw foods (too cold and damp for me if I’m inflamed), broth fast, sleep more, no HIIT only gentle stretching (which I find very challenging!!!)…
So ACCEPTANCE of how things are right now, of change or vulnerability… that’s the closest thing to the key to wellbeing as far as I’m concerned.
Q: What practices/patterns/habits/rituals keep you in the state of (or on the journey to) ‘Wellbeing’?
A: Have Broth daily. Breathe (long, slow, deep). Lymphatic brushing (vital for blood and fluid stagnation for me). Fermented foods. Sleep before 10.30. Chai; this is non- negotiable, and I make it from scratch on the stovetop. Time with kids/family, the dogs. Nature; just hanging out on the deck and chilling out. Creativity, which for me is work; new projects, new research etc.
Q: Describe your journey to ‘Wellbeing’?
A: I’ll give you the edited version… Started drinking and taking drugs at 14 while my parents were getting divorced however was also very active, I loved AEROBICS (it was the 80’s) and exercised regularly.
Beer and cigarettes triggered massive candida reactions and I was first taken to a naturopath at 14/15 and told to watch my diet and directed to not wear perfume, not to drink (der), not eat mushrooms (fungi), watch out for breads, all the candida standard. Mind you – this was 1985 so this “latest trend” of Candida dieting and gut health/protocols is far from new! It’s just that traditional medicine has started to wane in popularity.
I moved to London when I was 18 and stayed for 12 years… became a macrobiotic vegan for 7 years and studied macrobiotics and ran a macro restaurant in Old St in London. Re-introduced animal products when my father died in the late 90’s, although am still very much an advocate of plant based and started to learn more about LCHF (low carb, high fat) around the time I started having my kids, early 2000’s.
I am hyper-mobile in all my joints, had practiced Ashtanga yoga all through my twenties and thirties, went to India to study it under Pattabhi Jois and felt this was how I would live forever, to be honest… I thought: ‘THIS is my thing, THIS is how I will live’… and yet when I had my kids my hypermobility became a major issue and liver issues became chronic and I ended up having two emergency cesarean births despite “doing ALL the right things” and pushing (to the point of putting my babies and my own life at risk) for a “natural” water birth! Essentially my pregnancies, my rigidity around “go hard or go home” in terms of exercise and diet, and pushing myself too far, resulted in chronic hip and hormonal issues for 11 years until I required a hysterectomy at 43 and in the same year a hip replacement!
I should truly never have been vegan…I was never under the illusion that veganism was healthy. It was a big political statement. Political, environmental/consumerist/commercial – I became macrobiotic to make it healthier, (Macrobiotic vegans eat fish and some animal products and it is brown rice based) – if you took a snapshot of my life then, you would think I was thriving: I was slim, didn’t have to worry about my weight, I did lots of yoga, but subsequently, for ME the high-carbohydrate protocol of a vegan diet resulted in massive inflammation, oestrogen dominance, and major gut issues. In 2007 I started to really learn about Gut Health, by 2010 I had implemented a gut protocol into my psych practice and started to form a team of integrated health practitioners, that I first applied to MYSELF, and which later became Noosa Confidential.
This protocol assists in sustaining ‘Wellbeing’ on a physical level, while still accepting that sometimes, despite your best intentions, you just have to STOP, be kind to yourself and just BE.
Q: On your journey, what are the biggest obstacles/greatest fears you face, (past and present) and why are they important?
A: Biggest obstacle… my own limited thinking due to the greatest fear…. failure.
Not logical, primal.
Q: What/who in your “Inspiration Collection”?
- My parents and brother all of whom are/ were entrepreneurs
- “The obstacle is the Way” (also a great book)
- Theadore Roosevelt’s quote: “Its not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who’s face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who’s comes short again and again…. because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great enthusiasms , the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….”
- All my animals and my kids… they are the key to access soft, kind and gentle me.
Q: What is your life motto/quote you live by?
A: see above. I have ‘the obstacle is the way’ tattooed on my arm.
Q: Have you ever been on a Pilgrimage or soul-defining adventure, and what was your inspiration?
A: India for yoga practice and philosophy; South of France working on yachts and scootering around the Med; Mexico Just after my dad died… Africa and Asia… Travel ALWAYS forces me to re-evaluate, opens me up to new possibilities, forces me into daily gratitude and creativity.
Q: Where was the best place (overseas or local) you have visited or experienced that supported your Wellbeing?
A: I think finding good food etc. overseas REALLY challenging… which is why I don’t travel a lot anymore. I’m heading to Bali next week, have been many times before, and I use every app and website and blog I can find to ensure I know where to get great organic food and broth and smoothies etc.
So, on that note, I would definitely say HOME. I’m a huge believer in creating a life you neither need nor want to take a holiday from.
I am obviously blessed to live in Noosa.
For movement, I do F45 Functional HIIT 4-5 times a week and I go to Kinected Pilates at least once sometimes twice a week.
I am surrounded by amazing psychs, nutritionists, naturopaths, exercise physiologists, yoga and mindfulness teachers and acupuncturists in my work at Noosa Confidential. And we have local, organic meat and veggie suppliers whom I use at home, so I feel I am pretty much surrounded by the best I could ever hope for to support my health every day…
Q: How many fucks do you give, as to ‘what other people think’ on a scale of zero to ten?
A: I believe I have pretty much nailed this one! So honestly I can say, hand on heart, about a 2 in terms of “people” i.e. society in general. Obviously there are people in my life that I REALLY am invested in and whom my number would be higher for, like my husband, my kids, my mum, my colleagues… then it could go as high as an 8, but it takes a significant time and investment for me to put you in the category of “giving a fuck” about.
Q: Three Unusual/fun facts about you.
1. I like American Country music especially Dolly Parton and Willie nelson.
2. I love Macrame but hate doing crafts.
3. If I had my life over I’d be an architect.
Social connections, links and Websites.
FB: @noosaconfidential, @nc2u
Instagram: @noosaconfidential #noosaconfidential
LinkedIn: Pettina Stanghon (Pettina Trivett)
If you would like to read the post dedicated to my connection with this inspiring woman, you're welcome to here. If you would like to add your definitions and journey or inspirations to my collection - please contact me, I would love to hear from you.