Apart from having the most fabulous name, Eva is a talented Empowerment Coach for women and is based in my soul home of New Zealand. You can find out more about her over at her website and don't forget to check out her exclusive offer at the end of the interview only for readers of Loving Life After Forty.
What do you love most about your life?
I love that I’ve reached a stage in my life of having an inner calmness. I used to fight being in one place for too long, even when my sons started school we would travel as much as possible. This was more from a perspective of running then being (not wanting to miss out on something or be held back) or doing (I’ve got to “work” and make the most of what I have) and becoming obsessed by this need to ‘do’ all of the time.
My Grandmother used to say to me that I needed to find my roots and recharge. Initially I was resistant to move back to where I was born but it has been the catalyst for knowing my roots, where my family is from and the generations of strong women I am connected to through our genealogy.
I am happy that the last few years has given me the time to really consider carefully what I value and who I want to spend my time with and what I want to be creating at this stage of my life.
You live in beautiful New Zealand which is my husband’s homeland and one of my favourite places too. What do you think we could all learn from the Kiwi lifestyle to help bring more ease and happiness into our lives?
I think there is a sense of care and concern for others, the environment, the seaways and what effect this will have on our future generations if we do not start to be pro-active and clean up the water ways, plant more trees, look at alternate ways to be more conscious of how we are destroying the natural eco-system with our waste, electricity, oil etc. New Zealand is very aware of its indigenous culture and where they are from, even if they are not Maori. There is also an attitude of it will be okay, and we will figure out a solution or find a way to do it, be it building a shed, a community park, taking food over to someone’s home if their family has taken ill or there has been a set-back of some kind, while also being able to mind one’s business. It took me a long time to appreciate these small acts of kindness and the art of living in a smaller community, where you know most of the people who live there. There is less emphasis on material wealth or having an excess of possessions and more focus on “kiwi ingenuity” - using the resources you have to build a shed for example, buying the groceries from the farmer’s markets, growing your own produce, ask the neighbour or go and catch your own fish. Unlike I found in Australia, a big story and a lot of talk would not go far in New Zealand. It’s more of a balanced life mentality.
Tell us more about your work as a Woman’s Empowerment Coach and why you do it.
My love has always been for people and my Grandmother shared her spiritual values with me growing up, emphasizing that you need to know your lineage or roots, but also that family is primarily to do with relationships, in New Zealand they call this your whakapapa (genealogy), something in Australia I had never heard of. After years of personal development, I realised that life is all about relationships - with yourself, your environment, and others, and how you connect and change the lives or circumstances of others, whether in a paid setting or offering help to a random stranger for example. We all long for that deep connection and interaction with others and this is what I see as my calling.
After being in the corporate scene throughout my twenties, high flying around the world and living what I thought was the dream of working closely with clients in the entertainment industry I quickly learnt that this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable, nor fulfilling to me. In my 30’s I embarked on 5 years of working and training with various self-help guru’s from around the world, learning techniques that ‘healed’ my childhood traumas and enabled me to work with other women and clients, which I did for 10 years.
I now specialise as a Women’s Empowerment Coach utilising all of my life experience, trainings and various skills so I can give my clients what they need to guide them to living the highest vision of their life. I have witnessed time and time again, how support and encouragement can literally change someone’s life, if they are willing to take inspirational action steps towards the changes they are seeking – when previously they may not have had the courage or belief in themselves to take these steps. I couldn’t find anything else more rewarding than to be a part of witnessing this type of turnaround in people, moving through any challenges and not allowing the life-transition they were experiencing or the difficult conversation they needed to have, to hold them back any longer. For me it’s beautiful.
What are your top tips for living without fear and feeling more empowered?
I don’t think we could live without fear permanently. Tony Robbins suggests that most people have the same primary fear: “If I fail, I won’t be enough. I won’t be worthy of love and connection.” Once we know this we can choose to have a different perspective and reframe the way we think about our own fears, as opportunities to be courageous for example. Whenever we are afraid or fearful, we can treat this as an opportunity to develop an inner force that can expand our lives in ways we never imagined and be brave enough to take advantage of everything life has to offer us. Life is progressive and it is really only our perspective of fear that holds us back and stops us from moving forwards. We are innately wired to grow, change, and connect with others. A lot of sadness comes when we do not feel like we are progressing. We all have infinite potential and it’s up to us to surround ourselves with the right people who lift us up and who inspire us.
Asking ourselves the right questions opens us up to life’s potential and becoming the best version of ourselves we can be. For example:
· What if all my needs were met, how would I feel?
· What would I be doing in my life?
· What if XXX is really working together for my highest good?
· What if all the bad things that have happened in my life are leading me to activating some great potential in my experience?
· What if the universe really has my back?
When we ask these questions say a mantra (a lovely one is “Everything is happening around me, I am truly taken care of”), or do a meditation for 5-10 minutes, it brings us back to a calmer equilibrium and gives us a NEW perspective, idea, or hint on how to move beyond the fear and not settle for anything less than our best.
In my book “Free Your Heart to Love” I write that when what you do comes from your heart, whatever the situation, by being honest, vulnerable, dynamic and confident you are claiming your ability to create and invent your own life path. The hearts lessons are self-love and forgiveness.
What unexpected hurdles or challenges have you had to overcome in your business and how did you do that?
As a solopreneur it has been invaluable for me to invest in working with a business mentor and have a close support team of peers in my industry. I worked with a business mentor in the early stages of starting up my business because when you are trying to earn more money, raise your prices, or create more leveraged income it’s about more than just the strategy and technical hurdles, it’s about your mindset. I found this to be my biggest challenge in the initial stages. Most entrepreneurs want to generate more income, but the one thing that is most avoided in this conversation is the self- sabotage and resistance that will come up, whether it’s around money, speaking or putting yourself out there. Mine was to do with my pricing and being comfortable with what I wanted to be charging - “What if people don’t like it? What if I get refunds? Will people think I’m a fraud? The branding, products and services are not perfect.” I have spoken to women who even feel like they are cheating, or signing their life away, if money comes too easily.
Most of the time we may not even be aware that we are sabotaging ourselves or holding ourselves back from reaching the next level. I’m a big advocate for reaching out for help with a professional who has the expertise in the area you need; be it fitness, business, life skills, public speaking, your finances etc. In any of these areas at a certain point it will be our mindset or a limiting belief that could be a problem. I was holding myself back because I didn’t think I deserved more money and felt guilty for wanting more in my life. I was afraid to dream bigger because I didn’t think I deserved it or the happiness that would come with it. Changing my mindset and working with my business mentor was literally one of the best things that I could have done to overcome that hurdle. I no longer think “who am I to deserve this” but instead move forward strategically knowing that if I do the work the money will come.
What change would you most like to see in the world?
I believe that when we connect with love, we bring change into the world. My greatest wish would be that all people could feel free to open up and share their highest self and their innate gifts in the world. When we transform ourselves we can transform the world and find new and exciting ideas to make sure all children are taking care of, fed, educated or given the life skills to live the life that should be their innate birth right. My hope is that the leaders of our world and our millennial generation will make a stand and be a part of the many movements that are now active, to create better ways for all people in our world to live. We are seeing daily on social media men and women speaking up and saying no to our current world wide leaders who seem to be okay with having war torn countries fighting, refugees, rape and the need for orphanages. There are many upcoming leaders that have the skills to create the catalyst to find solutions and start a revolution of peace for all people. I know this is a grand vision but I believe if we start with ourselves first and then care for the people immediately around us with compassion, we can rebuild the way we currently live and begin to see the change that is needed in the world.
What’s the one thing you wish you had really understood when you were younger?
Perhaps in my late teens and early twenties it would have been nice to have a greater understanding that, “In the midst of the darkest moments choose to see the light.” That in those times of uncertainty not to panic and jump from plan A, straight into Plan B, but to stay true to the course. This was a dark time in my life and I felt soulless and confused - without connection to my highest self and what was the best path for me to choose to take. Now, I have an understanding that pressure serves us to find purpose. Similar to how a diamond does not start out polished and shining, but with enough pressure and time it becomes spectacular.
How do you feel that you’ve grown and developed since turning 40?
I seem to have more space for what is important to me. Life is simpler and less chaotic. I am very blessed to have parents who are very active in their life, travel, surf, love to cook, try new things all of the time and I use them as an example on how to live my own life and enjoy it. They laugh, sing often, and are young at heart; rather than being too serious like I can have the tendency to be! There is a newfound beauty and appreciation that wasn’t ‘there’ before 40.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A woman who I deeply admire and is in her 90’s shared this advice with me recently. Her words were ‘to put the past behind you, always find new activities to be a part of, no matter what your age is, and to be financially secure’. In other words, ‘Life Loves the Liver of it…’
What’s next for you?
Collaborating with other amazing women like yourself at events and workshops to see women be empowered and living the life they dream of. When I am traveling now, I want to be sure that I am giving back to the community I am in and connect with others who are doing the same, be it in the local villages, or setting up water systems, visiting the orphanages etc. There are so many possibilities and ways available to us, in which we can make the world a better place! Volunteering, making an impact and inspiring others is where my heart is at.
Eva is very generously offering a 25% discount on a consult or coaching series with her. Visit her website for more information on her coaching and when booking don't forget to write 'Jo Macdonald - Loving Life After 40 special offer' to get your exclusive discount. Your introductory session must be booked before the end of January 2017 to get this discount.
Eva is also a contributor to an e-book called Sparkling Souls which is helping to end human trafficking. Sparkling Souls was written with purpose. To give more girls the opportunity to truly sparkle. A collective of sparkling souls share their insights and ideas on how you can sparkle at your brightest. 100% of the proceeds will be donated towards ending human trafficking so that more young girls get the opportunity to discover their sparkle. The ebook will be $20 with all proceeds going towards ending human trafficking (80% to Australian projects and 20% to Canadian projects) and can be purchased here