Creating Light photo adventures & inspiring stories.

Women Creating Light | Alicia

Women Creating Light is a photo series that features inspiring, talented women, doing great work in the world of food, health and wellness. Some women I already knew, but the others became new friends through the project. However we are all connected by these topics that touch our lives every day. And Women Creating Light series serves to tell these women's stories through photographs and words.

My first light creator is Alicia Mathlin, the vibrant maker of {plan A} holistic life™. We met serendipitously through a workshop she was co-hosting called Own It. Rock It. Make It Happen about living well, nourishing body and self, and how to improve our relationship with food. All of these concepts are so near and dear to my heart, I felt like the event was calling my name when I randomly came across it online. It was from this heartening workshop that I took the inspiration and the courage to start the Women Creating Light project.

Alicia has an amazing energy, killer style and a refreshing outlook on life. Her work marries nutritional therapy, wellness coaching, and whole lotta love for body and self.

When you meet Alicia and visit her website, her words and quotes speak of a life that is vibrant, healthy, and nurturing. However it wasn't always that way. {plan A} holistic life™ was built from a much harder time in Alicia's life where her work and lifestyle put her health at risk. I am so inspired by Alicia and her life's work and her ability to rise from a darker time and use it as new beginning to spread so much light in the world.

I asked Alicia 5 questions on the topic of health, beauty and food. Read her insightful answers below:

1. What drives you? What's your mission?

First, THANK YOU Amber for featuring women and their work in such a wonderful light {no pun intended!}. I believe we need to have bigger conversations about food, health and wellness and the way these things impact the way we experience our lives every day. So thank you for creating this space to share something different and in such a lovely way.

I am driven by a commitment that I made to myself when I hit rock bottom in my life. I promised myself that if I got through things I would make it my life’s work to improve the lives of women. To get through my own stuff, I began by writing about my own experiences and sharing the solutions I’d found to some of life’s bigger questions. In a nutshell, I woke up one morning and realized the life I had built for myself belonged to the expectations {family + societal} of others. I had been like play-doh (remember that stuff from when we were kids?) I could be squeezed, ripped apart, manipulated and molded into someone else’s vision for me because I had no idea who I was or what I really wanted. I had no voice of my own. No confidence. No real direction. Just a very clear physiological understanding that this way of living and being was not a pathway to joy.

And, more than anything, I just wanted to be happy. I believe that’s what most women want.

We all just want to feel happiness in our hearts which is unconditional love, we want to feel happiness in our minds which is that inner calm right? No more being pushed around by our thoughts and emotions. Let me not forget that we want to be happy in our bodies too! Healthy and pain-free is always good.

My mission is to teach women HOW to have a better day, every day.  I want women to know that they have all the answers to their life’s questions. I want them to know that they are always whole. Perfect. I want women to know that they are worthy of their own love and compassion.

2. Was there a key/favourite moment in your experience/journey so far that has made it all worth it?

The first was when I was invited to speak to a group of grade 9 girls. I prepared this really special talk on goals; setting, planning and achieving. It went so well that the girls invited me to their pizza dinner afterward and I talked with them for over an hour. I realized that the stuff we deal with as adult women we’ve been dealing with since we were girls. That was huge.

How can we possibly tell women to love themselves if they have never learned that they are worthy of their own unconditional love?

And the second moment was when it all sunk in for me and my personal journey; even though I had found this work that means so much to me I was still trying to do it the way I thought it had to be done as opposed to doing it my way. The minute I gave myself permission to be 100% me in this field, the minute I decided to line it all up to my heart’s desires, my aesthetic and my specific vision for women’s holistic wellness everything began to fall in to place.

3. What is your favourite way to nourish yourself and your health?

My favourite way to nourish myself is to follow a 90% vegetarian nutrition plan {I occasionally eat seafood socially}. I rarely talk about my reasons though because it’s such a touchy subject and it has taken me over 7 yrs to be consistent. As I get older, and I learn more about what deeply matters to me, this choice’s alignment with my values has had a profound impact on my gratitude for the food I eat and my reverence for animals. This has nourished my soul. I do draw a very clear line between my personal experience and what my clients experience in our care. I try to educate not dictate. Besides, every woman’s body is different.

I also nourish my health with self-care. That includes time with my husband, our family or with my incredible friends. It is my daily yoga and meditation practice. Going to bed early as much as possible. I take my silence very seriously. Also, my pleasure; I take my pleasure rather seriously - food, wine, love, travel. Finally gratitude; I believe that I am healthy because I remain in a state of gratitude and with that an open mind. I am grateful that I get to be more, learn more and do more every day.

4. When do you feel the most beautiful?

I feel the most beautiful when I am loving myself and loving others.

5. If you had one piece of advice for the next generation of young women, what would it be?

It’s so hard to pick one...try to love yourself a little bit more every day and know that all that really matters is that you love you, once you’ve figured that out go out into the world and do good immediately.

Women need to know that they do not have to do anything the way it has always been done and that everything is possible. All the time.

Pick something - a cause or an issue and put some time into helping {whatever kind of helping feels right for you} and stick with it.

Imagine if we all did a little something to change the world? That would be the ultimate holistic wellness.