My Past, present & future.

Aimee Angelique Dollface My Past, present & future

As you’d already know by now, I loooove me some Social Media. I’m on all the channels – Facebook. Insta. Snapchat. And would you believe, yep, Youtube. I even have my own channel!

Now once upon a time, in a far away life, I was a self-started Pop Princess. That’s right ladies and gents, I was singing and dancing and partying up a storm in good old Sydney town. Back in ‘those days’, I was doing fashion photoshoots and promotional work. I was working in crazy clubs in the city. And believe it or not, I also recorded my own music video (seriously!) – it was very sexy. It was very risqué. It was very much filmed in my apartments carspace! In my former life, I’ve created my own Dance Festival and Cabaret shows. I’ve ran my own Event Management Company (or at least that’s what we called it on my Resume). So as you can imagine, all these things are a far cry from the person and life I’m living today.

The inspiration for this blog post came about because I’ve had a few students and acquaintances mention they’re going to ‘google me’ when anything about my past life emerges. And it’s a poignant reminder for me that nothing on the internet is gone forever.

So, lets delve in to the ME you haven’t met.

I grew up as a ‘Defence Kid’ being shipped around the countryside until we finally settled in Medowie when I was 8 years of age (I was even born in Malaysia!). I attended a local Primary School here in Medowie and then went on to attend a Performing Arts High School before finally leaving at the end of year 10, 16 years of age with a bunch of hopes and dreams (and at least 6 suitcases full of baggage relating to self-esteem, body image, self-loathing, depression and anxiety).

At the tender age of 17 and feeling so ready to take on the world, with my parent’s support (but complete and utter fears of letting their little girl go), I moved to Sydney. The BIG SMOKE. I was on a fast track to becoming the next BIG THING! Pop Star! Actress! DJ! IT Girl! I was working extremely hard to make these dreams happen; creating shows and recording my music, working ridiculous hours and ridiculous jobs to support myself and my dreams; I was buying up big. I had the bags, shoes, designer clothes, fancy apartment. The problem was, these ridiculous hours and ridiculous jobs were completely feeding my insecurities. My 6 suitcases full of baggage was growing by the day.  This time I added in stress at trying to maintain my busy lifestyle and threw in some lack of sleep, struggling to keep up with my 5 (!!) jobs.

It got to the point where I knew my lifestyle wasn’t sustainable. I was on a fast track alright, but it wasn’t to fame and stardom; I was coming 100 miles an hour for exhaustion, depression and anxiety. Doctors were suggesting medication with promises of taking away all my problems but I knew intuitively this wasn’t for me. My art and creativity is found in my energy. If my energy was taken, who was I?

I watched friends and colleagues self-medicate their own issues with drugs and alcohol. Thankfully, this was never my thing; I’ve never tried drugs & alcohol dulled my fun. So I became addicted to ‘stuff’. Having a bad day? Surely that designer handbag will make me feel better. Feeling like the world is against you? Buy a new pair of expensive shoes, you’ll feel a million dollars. Feeling fat and ugly? Head off to the exclusive hair salon and spend hundreds of dollars trying to find your self-esteem somewhere in a hair colour. Now, I’m a trained make-up artist. So for me, I didn’t leave the house unless I had a full face. I’m talking the whole works. The kind of makeup you might have had done last time you were your friends bridesmaid – that was me. Every day. Every single day. I didn’t dare leave the sanctity of my home without my ‘face’.

To help me along in my path to stardom, I’d acquired so many ‘friends’! Oh the friends I had! The problem was, these people weren’t my friends. They used me. They took advantage of me both financially and emotionally. I would receive 30 calls a day from my ‘friends’ all in crisis and feeding the drama that had become my world.

On and on it went until I was no longer the girl my family remembered; I was no longer the girl with big dreams but was simply running around in a world of chaos, drama, messiness and emotional upheaval, all created by me and the people I had accumulated around me.

This cycle went on for years and years. Thankfully, little bits of me were changing and seeking new direction.

My first turning point was an anxiety attack that landed me in the back of an ambulance on my way to hospital, requiring sedation. This anxiety attack changed my life. My life and lifestyle had to change. I didn’t want to be this person anymore.

From here, two incredible things happened. At 19, I was introduced to an amazing woman and healer, Lynette from The Soul Factory whom I have done lots of work on my mind, body, energy and spirit. This woman helped heal all that was broken and helped me change my world.

The second incredible thing was a friend taking me to my first yoga class. This friend knew what I needed in that moment. I remember walking in to my first yoga class and absorbing the fresh smell of the room; the low lighting; the healing and calming sound of the Om. I was hooked. This was something that was going to change my life. And it did. It really did.

 In 2011, my amazing partner Gavin came in to my life. Our relationship blossomed from work colleagues, to friends, to lovers & partners. Gav was my first ‘boyfriend’ and together, we have been on such an amazing journey. Gav too was caught up in a very ‘Sydney’ lifestyle and together, we have undertaken so much spiritual healing and growing as individuals and as a couple.

The birth of our beautiful first daughter in 2012 shifted my axis. I saw things differently. I wanted to be different and I wanted different things from my world; from my friends; from my life. So, with my beautiful baby girl on the hip (literally, because our 1 bedroom apartment was too small to put her down anywhere!), I commenced my yoga teacher training. I didn’t know where it would take me, but I hoped it was the start of something big.

Life continued on; little changes being made here and there, all while learning on the go as a first time Mother and the changes that brings to our relationship with our partner, friends and families.

By the end of 2013, I was blessed to be pregnant again. We were so excited to be welcoming another little person to our family. But with our excitement, there was a sense of overwhelm. We were drowning. Financially. Emotionally. Physically overwhelmed by our things. We were renting an apartment that was a bit bigger than my own apartment, so with our rent and mortgage payment, we had to find $700.00 per week. And after that, we found money for food. Bills. We were struggling and quickly going in to the red.

We felt caged in. With our second baby on the way, we had to do something. So, we sold off all our financed assets. We packed up our apartment, our dog, our cat, our baby and my pregnant belly and we came ‘home’. Home to a house that means my baby girls could play with the dog in their own backyard, not a park. A home that meant family dinners with Mum and Dad and not with ‘friends’ who fell by the wayside once the drama cycle stopped; A home that meant opportunities that were real and achievable and not chasing dreams that were never to be. We created a business – Medowie Yoga – which has taken all my training and hopes to new heights and I’ve found my spark again. This time though, I no longer take joy in ‘stuff’. Now I find joy in watching my students grow and change, I find joy in helping a woman find her feet again and setting out her goals; I find joy in connecting with women and families who are genuine and kind and don’t want anything from me other than my time and friendship. I found joy. I found me.

Healing myself and finding yoga changed my world. It helped me walk away from a toxic lifestyle; toxic people. I met and connected with my amazing partner. Together, we are now walking the path of parenthood (another huge life changer – that one deserves it’s own blog post!)

I’ve lived such a full life and am truly grateful for all that I have experienced; I now have strength where before I had weakness; I have self-love where before I had self-loathing. I’m still finding my feet in all things – I’m by no means ‘perfect’ or living the new perfect ‘holisitic’ lifestyle but I am proud of myself for where I am now. For coming ‘home’ to my family and creating a life for my girls and my partner that I can be proud of. At the time of selling of our things, it felt like we had failed. We had lost our way. Little did we know, the universe was bringing us to our biggest blessings, changing our path for the better.

And the best bit? This is just the beginning!

Thank you so much for being here. I am so grateful and honoured I get to share my journey with you here…

Love Aimee x

Here is a little sneaky peek at some of my ‘past life’ photo shoots:

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There’s Nothing Wrong With Propping Yourself Up

Stretch Now

(Photo via Stretch Now Website)

Namaste Yogis,

How’s your time on the mat been treating you so far in 2016?
It can be a little tricky to get your practice back into full form after the holiday period, but here we are in February (already!) and it’s about time to start nourishing our inner yogi again – on the regular!

This week, I wanted to share my ideas with you about the amazing benefits of using yoga props during your mat time.

I have to admit that I never explored the use of yoga props until I had my first daughter, Isabelle. My body had changed so much throughout pregnancy and early motherhood that I was virtually ‘forced’ to start using them.

Talk about humbling, but also incredibly expansive!

It’s only now that I can see that before I was first pregnant, I brought a lot of ego into my yoga practice: ‘I don’t need props, I can do everything perfectly myself… And if I can’t I’ll push towards it!’

Having a dance background, I really believed that I should PUSH myself towards perfect alignment – using props would be cheating.

Once I shifted some major gears – having Isabelle and undertaking my yoga teacher training, I was finally able to embrace the true value of yoga props. They are, in fact, vital for experiencing the true benefits of many, many yoga postures, especially for those with injuries and poor flexibility.

These days, I LOVE props! So, here’s the rundown on the standard yoga props, how you can use them and why they’re so important:

Yoga Mats:

Not really a prop, but more an essential!
The key here is quality – yes, there really is a BIG difference between a department store ‘exercise mat’ and a quality, specialty yoga mat!

The most important aspect of difference is the materials used. Mass produced mats (ie. the really cheap ones) tend to be made from, or at least coated in, toxic plastic materials! Do you really want to be breathing that stuff in while you’re practicing?

The other elements I’ve really noticed is thickness and grip – the cheapies tend to have you sliding around on the floor and are either too thick to gain grounding, or too thin to feel solid!

Quality mats, on the other hand, are non-toxic and grip beautifully to both the floor and your hands and feet! They also last WAY longer and are a wonderful investment for your long-term practice.

Bolsters:

Especially wonderful for the more restorative yoga poses, bolsters provide deep support for some serious wind-down and body-opening.
They are incredible for gently opening the upper back, chest, ribs and belly in some key postures and just let you ‘flop’ in where your otherwise compromised flexibility might hamper you.

Ultimately, bolsters deeply support you in your practice. These days, I’m never without one! And FYI once you have tried Savasana with a bolster under your knees you won’t be able to turn back. They are addictive! 😉

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Blocks:

Some really daunting yoga poses can be made far more easily accessible with yoga blocks, especially for newbies to the mat. Do you have trouble reaching the floor in forward bends or triangle poses, for example? Blocks are your friend!

Blocks can also be great for advancing your practice! Between your knees in a backbends or shoulder stand, for example, can really intensify your experience and create some fantastic new levels of alignment!

Straps:

Support, safety, extension… Wow, I love yoga straps!

They’re a dream for yogis with tight hamstrings and shoulders in so many poses, allowing you to ultimately extend your reach and get into great alignment despite any injury or stiffness.

Eye pillows:

There’s no Savasana like a Savasana with a fantastic eye pillow!

My favourites are nice and heavy, providing sweet sensory darkness and the lovely feel of slight, supportive pressure over the eyes during relaxation.

If they’re scented with Lavender or the like, even better!

Blankets:

Yoga blankets are great for rolling up to sit comfortably on or to support you in poses where you don’t quite need a bolster but still crave some nurturing.

They are also heaven to swathe yourself in during Savasana or many restorative/yin poses, especially during the colder months. Quality yoga blankets are woolen and weighty, and feel like a great big cuddle during your tenderest asana moments!

So, you’ve probably guessed by now… I LOVE yoga props!

So tell me yogis how do you feel about propping yourself up during your practice? Have any props made a real difference for you? What are your favourite yoga props? Let’s start sharing in the comments!

With love until next time,
Aimee XXX

P.S For any of my students are interested in ordering either a high quality yoga mat or any yoga props to support your practice either at home or in class please email me as I am just about to place a bulk order which you maybe able to receive a discount and save on postage. Please email me ASAP at aimee@aimeeangelique.com and let me know what you would like to order.