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I Am Me, Unapologetically | Bianca

We all play many different roles to people around us, how do you find the balance in your life to be these roles?

I wish I had a concrete answer! The truth is it’s often a bit overwhelming to play many roles at once, but because in this life it is necessary, the only thing we can do is cope. Taking care of my mental, emotional and physical health is key-you can’t pour from an empty cup. This care comes in many forms: exercise, eating well, meditation, therapy, laughing with friends. But it also includes the harder and less fun stuff, like keeping on top of my finances, holding myself accountable for my wrongdoings, setting goals and boundaries and sticking to them.

You are a yoga teacher & sound healer. Tell us about your journey...

After graduating university and working several years in fashion, I had a realisation it wasn’t as fulfilling as I had hoped. Though I had invested so much time and energy of my young adulthood on it, I decided to backtrack, take myself back to my roots, and figure out what was next. I went to live in Asia for a few months and got my yoga teacher training at a retreat centre in Thailand. At the time, I wanted the benefits for myself, but when I returned to Toronto where I was raised I found out holding space for others was not only something I was good at, but something very needed in the big, bustling city. Suddenly, being an immigrant’s daughter-a messy mash-up of Eastern and Western culture-made sense.

I’m condensing this story quite a bit but I eventually levelled up in the busy city life by moving to London, UK. My partner James is British, and to commemorate my transnational move he gifted me my first crystal singing bowl. Since then we’ve grown our collection of healing instruments together. Now, he plays the gong and I play the bowls and guide the meditations. We host yoga classes and sound baths at Dudley’s, our café in East London.

The journey is not over yet. It never is. In fact I think the word “journey” is the wrong one to use because it implies a start and a destination. But that’s not how I see life. To me, it’s a dance. We ebb and we flow through it, sometimes with some idea of where we’re going but mostly no clue at all. We grow and we retract and then we morph into something entirely different. I don’t know where I’ll take my love and my zest for life next, but that’s what’s exciting about it.

Tell us a little more about the benefits of sound bath and meditation?

Meditation has demonstrated over and over again in clinical trials (and with real-life anecdotes from people close to you, I’m certain) to improve physical and mental well-being. Some of those benefits are instantaneous and include: regulated blood pressure, lowered heart rate, and improved memory and attention. Stress reduction is a massive one, and meditation does this by decreasing negative thought patterns and the body’s hormonal stress response; increasing self-awareness, patience and joy; and overall building the skills to manage stressful situations. Some would call this “re-wiring the brain” to better cope and be happier. All of this, over time and consistent practice, helps to manage anxiety, depression, headaches, chronic pain, sleep problems, heart conditions and more.

An important thing to note is that there are different types of meditations. Plenty of people picture a Buddhist monk sitting atop a mountain in complete peace and solitude when they picture meditation. This is not always the case, especially in this day and age. Meditation doesn’t have to be still or static, nor does there have to be absence of thought. What’s important is synchronising the mind, body, and emotions. We do this by breathing and observing the breath; being present and observing the present.

Sound baths are just another way to practice meditation. It’s a stretch of time where you are “bathed”(surrounded) by soothing sound vibrations. For some people it is a lot easier to meditate when there is a soundscape to enjoy and physically feel. This allows the practitioner to enter a meditative state quicker, there by receiving the benefits I listed above. Sound healing is a tool to help the body heal itself.

Tell us about how you met your husband and the role he plays in supporting/enabling/making you who you are.

It’s the most modern love story ever but we still find it enchanting and epiphanic! Here goes:

While travelling in Asia I met another yogi called Alyssa Bokovoy. Maybe it was the island air but I felt strangely connected to her, like she was part of my life puzzle, so much so that we got matching dragon tattoos after a week of knowing each other! Little did I know she had already met my partner James during another spiritual retreat by the name of Coachella (lol) the summer before.

Fast forward nearly a year later—Alyssa and I find ourselves in Jamaica for a holiday. She posted me to herInstagram story and James saw it and asked her to put in a good word for him. She did, and we ended up FaceTiming for many hours a day for six weeks. Finally, I booked a one-way flight to London to see if we’d hit it off in real life. I never left and I’ve never felt more at home. So the short story is we met on Instagram. The long story is that a series of small events brought us together serendipitously.

James has been essential to my growth as a person and as a healer, being my partner in everything. There are things I’ve learned about the world and myself that would have been impossible without him as my mirror. There is nothing like a good, loving relationship to help you grow. It’s true what they say: if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.

"The journey is not over yet. It never is. In fact I think the word “journey” is the wrong one to use because it implies a start and a destination. But that’s not how I see life."

Our bodies carry us through life and can create life. Has your relationship with your body changed over the years?

Absolutely. When I was younger I was quite detached from my body. I was oblivious to its super powers, abusive of its forgiveness, and ungrateful for its able-ness. In other words, I self-harmed and did a lot of drugs. It wasn’t until a serious hospitalisation did I give myself an ultimatum: change or die. It’s morbid but it’s true.

Now I’m in a place where I’m in constant awe of what my body can do. I’m grateful for it. And therefore I care for it. I’m obsessed with fitness not for what it makes me look like but how it makes me feel. I’m sober. I’m strong.

I suppose the next step for me is creating life. I’m sure my perception of my body will drastically change then, too.That’s a whole ‘nother level of awe and self-care that I can’t even fathom right now.

Our jewellery tells our story, it can be a scrap book of memories we carry around with us. Do you have a sentimental piece of jewellery you treasure and if so why?

I have a moldavite crystal ring that I got in Utah while visiting Alyssa (there’s another mention of her, my spirit guide). Moldavite is a rock that formed when a meteor hit earth millions of years ago, and it’s said to have strong powers because it’s from outer space. The rock of serious manifestation.

I believe that people are powerful enough on their own to manifest dream realities, but I treasure this particular ring because I was wearing it when everything started to fall together for me. It broke when I first moved toLondon—something I took as a sign that its work was done. I keep the pieces on the mantle that holds my sound healing instruments.

Daisy is run by women, for women and we champion those around us. What women in your life inspire you most?

I think it goes without saying Alyssa Bokovoy’s on this list! She’s a free spirit with endless energy, and she teaches Universal Yoga, a modern and very disciplined type of yoga that blends the best bits of all the others. Not many people teach it, but those that do are incredible.

Another woman who’s been there for me no matter the circumstance, and inspires me beyond words by just existing, is Dahae Song. She is a Korean-Canadian multidisciplinary artist who paints and lives life the way a tree grows. Pure and free flowing yet wild and relentless.

And of course my mother. The person who grew me inside her core, carved a path for me, and let me divert from it.The person I spent my youth wanting to be nothing like, until I grew up, looked back and realised I'm exactly like her and I love it. The person who passed down our native tongue and tradition so no matter how far I am away from her I will always be grounded. The person I will forever frame my understanding of myself around.

What advice would you love to give your younger self?

It gets better, I promise.

What’s your go to Daisy jewellery piece?

I'm obsessed with the organic shapes of the Estée Lalonde Flow pieces.

What does the statement I am me, unapologetically mean to you?

It means no one else has to "get" it but me.