Create Nourish Inspire Interviews is a new blog post series, where I interview people who inspire me because of the way they follow their heart and seek to do what lights them up. I find out more about the journey they have taken and discover how they embrace their creativity, nourish their soul and find peace in everyday life.
This week, I’ve been talking to Gabrielle Treanor, who created gabrielletreanor.com. I’ve been reading Gabrielle’s blog for a couple of years and I love her down to earth approach to dealing with worrying and overwhelm.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you have created a business doing what lights you up?
I’m Gabrielle and I live in a village in the Brecon Beacons with my husband and little dog. My wellbeing business, gabrielletreanor.com, helps people to spend less time overthinking and worrying, and more time enjoying their life. I’m also a freelance writer, I write on wellbeing topics for magazines such as Breathe and The Simple Things.
I created my wellbeing business nearly two years ago, it was borne out of an interest in positive psychology as I was looking for ways to deal with the anxiety I had experienced most of my life. I found the techniques and strategies, backed up by scientific studies, so helpful to myself that I wanted to share what I was researching and practising with others. So I teach online courses, write eBooks and articles, host a podcast (launching 21 March) and I’m undergoing coach training.
How has your life changed since you decided to do what lights you up and did you have to overcome anything along the way?
There are always challenges to deal with and overcome, that’s just life! I work for myself at home, I have no boss so I make all the decisions and take all the responsibility. Self-employment requires self-motivation which can be challenging if you’re having a difficult day and you can feel a lot of pressure because there’s no-one else to do the work or tell you how to handle something. But the positives of self-employment far outweigh the negatives because I get to do what I love, on my terms, every day, making a difference in a way that truly lights me up.
How do you nourish your soul in your daily life and does creativity play a part in this?
Working on my own at home may sound isolating to some but as an introvert I love the solitude and quiet. Plus my dog keeps me company and my husband is self-employed and works from home too so I’m not actually alone! Starting the day walking the dog in the local woods nourishes my soul, along with meditating before I start work. I take lots of photos each day, to post on social media but also for my own enjoyment. Being in nature is important to my mental wellbeing, as well as the fresh air and exercise being good for me physically, and photographing the seasons changing helps me to be mindful of the amazing world we live in. I also write three things I’m thankful for in my gratitude diary every night before I go to sleep. This is a powerful practice that I recommend everyone to try, there’s solid science that backs up the positive impact that can be made within just three weeks of writing every day. I like to try different creative activities – this year so far I’ve experimented with paper cutting, origami, bread making and I have a blanket I’ve been crocheting for a few years!
What helps you to find peace in everyday life?
Taking time to pause throughout a day, taking a couple of deep breaths and calming my mind. Learning to create space between me and my thoughts, to recognise that what my inner critic is whispering to me or the anxious thoughts that may start to rise, aren’t intrinsically part of me, has helped me feel more peace.
What piece of advice would you give to people going through a tough time or struggling with their health?
Imagine it’s your best friend who’s having the same experience and think about how you would treat them, what you would say and do. You wouldn’t talk to them harshly, dismiss their concerns or pretend everything is fine when it isn’t. You would be kind to them, you’d listen, and you’d take care of them, so do that for yourself. Everyone has difficulties, no-one’s immune to challenges and everyone needs help sometimes. You don’t need to struggle on, you can ask for and get support.
Who or what inspires you?
Oh, gosh, so many people and things! The natural world, my nieces and nephews, people who do incredible things in the face of tough challenges, anyone demonstrating kindness, generosity and selflessness, artists, writers, photographers, even my dog inspires me!
If you could make one profound difference in people’s lives, what would it be?
One difference, that’s tough to choose. For you to know you’re not alone. You’re not the only person to struggle, to have worrying, scary, overwhelming thoughts, to face difficulties, to not know what to do. You’re not weird or stupid or wrong because of how you feel. There are others, many others, who feel and think just like you do. Your challenges, whatever they are, don’t define you, they’re just a part of you and you don’t have to face them alone.
Thank you so much Gabrielle. You really inspire me in the way that you have set out to take positive action with your own anxiety and now seek to help others feel better too. I think that is such an important reminder that we are not alone in whatever we are feeling or struggling with.
If you would like to find out more about Gabrielle’s work, including her brilliant blog, filled with great advice and support along with her eBooks and brand new podcast, visit her website, or connect with Gabrielle on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
To see more Create Nourish Interviews, click here.
To see my blog post series about the stories behind my art and affirmations, click here.
To see my positive affirmation mixed media art, click here.
To see my blog post series about my holistic journey to wellness with Rheumatoid Arthritis, click here.
To see my blog post series about mixed media art for beginners, click here.