I have SUCH an awesome interview to share with you today. In my most recent instalment of My Happy Healthy Life, I’m talking to Maeve Jones, a yoga teacher, business owner, and true lover of life.
I met Maeve when we did our 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training together in 2012 (side note, the YTT was one of the best experiences of my life! We did our training with Julia McCabe in Nicaragua). Maeve was just so positive and awesome and unique, and while I haven’t seen her since our training (she’s one the West coast, I’m on the East), we’ve kept in touch online.
I really love and respect Maeve’s mindset and attitude towards life, and I wanted some of that light, love, and wisdom to share with you all! So without further ado, please meet the wonderful Maeve Jones.
Hi Kate, let me start by saying that my “happy healthy life” is a product of a very specific worldview that I roll with. I believe that joy and peace exist at the center of every human. So I start with ‘happy’ and ‘healthy,’ or better still ‘peaceful’ and ‘full of love’, and everything else unrolls to support that.
I’ve found that pursuing health and happiness is itself misery. It says that “there” is what I am trying to get to because “here” is not good enough. But I am actually here. So instead, I’ve assumed that ‘peaceful’ and ‘full of love’ are exploding all over everything. (Because they are.) And when I know that true joy lives peacefully and invulnerably in all things, it does. This is my manifesto for a Happy and Healthy Life. For me, it works.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi, I’m a human and life enthusiast in Whistler, BC. I’m a “Play Artist” who guides others into joyful self-connection through free movement and play. I also teach yoga and Acro Yoga, and I run a business called Whistler Kids Yoga. When not teaching you’ll find me prancing in Whistler’s beautiful forests, swimming in clear lakes, or riding my bike.
Have you always lived a healthy and happy life? If not, what got you on this path?
Nope, but I always wanted to be happy. Since at least age 12, I searched for joy in academic overachieving, exercise, and later on alcohol. Ultimately I didn’t know how to actually be happy. Like many people I pursued frivolous rewards from drinking alcohol, partying, using marijuana, exercising, and other external solutions, all trying to get to joy. I didn’t know that happiness was innate. I thought I had to work for it.
When I felt bad, I just increased my intake of substances like rum and running, over time feeling even worse because they weren’t actually helping. I experienced deep anxiety, occasional depression, and total if well-hidden self-hate. At age 22 my ‘happiness’ model failed and imploded; broken and lost I was guided to my counselor Marlise Witschi (internalfreedom.com).
Marlise immediately helped me to clear some big negative beliefs I had about myself, and she also presented a new worldview where simple happiness is truth, and each human is a soul made of love and light. I knew she was right.
I’m delighted to credit Marlise with opening a pathway for me to know actual joy. She continues to help me remember and rediscover the love within myself and the whole world. Now knowing that people are made of warm and scintillating love, I find it easy to feel happy. Peace and joy exists in hyper-abundance within everyone, and I habitually choose to see past illusions of otherwise. You and I always have access to simple happiness and unlimited health. On one hand it takes work to choose this perspective, and on the other hand it just flows because it’s in everyone.
How do you nourish your body? Can you tell us about your diet and exercise routine?
I’m of the mind that the way I do something is more important that what I do. So, I exercise and nourish myself in any way that feels right and joyful in the moment. In other words, nourishing for me is fun. I dance with my hula hoop almost every day, in addition to taking regular lake swims, lawn naps, acro yoga and yoga sessions. Most of my daily exercise comes from commuting everywhere on my bike. I also thoroughly enjoy prancing, and engaging with other humans at the level of soul.
For food, I eat a lot of plants in various delicious forms. The untrained eye might think my diet is vegan, but I don’t care for rules. Eating plants comes easily to me and I love to cook and eat tasty, abundant and nutritious meals. These days I’m preparing a lot of Indian meals.
How do your nourish your soul? What keeps your happy and balanced?
I begin my days by centering myself sitting quietly and doing nothing. In that time I connect with soul, and also I acknowledge the dramas that swirl around soul. I believe that my life is easier when I take the time to meet myself and connect with truth first thing in the morning.
I also enjoy time in nature, and expressing myself through the free movement of prancing [note: more on the power of prancing in an upcoming post!].
What would your perfect day look like?
Who do you follow for health/happiness advice?
For advice I follow my inner guide, mostly. When I feel stuck, I ask close friends for second opinions and other perspectives. And when I’m really unable to see things clearly, I speak with my counselor Marlise.
I also thoroughly enjoy the teachings of Ram Dass. And I’m currently studying a Course in Miracles, which is ultimately a guide to total well-being.
What are you reading right now?
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant
A Course in Miracles
Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey by Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij (cookbook)
Do you have any fun beauty tips you can share with us?
Yep! I’ve found that sorting out my inner landscape and cleaning up my personal state has ironically made me more externally beautiful. Bonus!
I also I love to cover my skin in coconut oil.
Any other tips for us?
Yes: Love everyone and tell the truth.
p.s. I released my eBook, The Vibrant health Recipe Book yesterday! Check out the details here