Strong, Healthy Women Interview Series: Bronwen Sciortino
- Created: 04 January 2019 04 January 2019
Bronwen Sciortino is an internationally renowned Author, Simplicity Expert and Professional Speaker who spent almost two decades as a high-powered, award-winning executive before experiencing a life-changing event that forced her to stop and ask the question “What if there’s a better way to live?”
Bronwen spends every day teaching people there are other ways to live so they can reduce stress, build resilience and easily make changes in their everyday lives – building to a more meaningful life and improved mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Find inspiration as we talk to Bronwen Sciortino in our #StrongHealthyWomen interview.
Hi Bronwen! Thank you for being part of the Health and Fitness Travel, Strong, Healthy Women Interview Series, where we are shining a light on the importance of self-care, not as an indulgence but a necessity to reduce stress and general health issues.
Is there such a thing as a typical day for you and what does that look like?
Yes…. And No!
One of the things I’ve worked really hard to do is to understand who I am, and what I need to keep my energy levels fully fuelled and firing on all cylinders.
Part of this was understanding that I need dedicated time to myself every day that allows me to withdraw from everything that is going on around me and simply reconnect with the core of my heart and soul.
After a bit of trial and error, a bit of play and a bit of adventure, I found that my day always works best if I start with meditation and follow that up with some form of movement (usually yoga, walking or bike riding).
I have appointments in my diary to carve out time for me to be able to do these things … and I protect that time ferociously. In fact, it’s the only time in my diary that is non-negotiable … everything else has flexibility around it but I don’t give that time away to anyone for any reason.
So that’s the ‘yes’ part of whether or not I have a typical day. The ‘No’ part comes from my understanding that I have an eclectic soul that needs variety.
The rest of my days are vast and varied. As an international author, I find myself in all sorts of places, all over the world and doing all sorts of different things. The variety keeps me interested and it means I am always learning.
I guess you could say that a typical day for me has some structure followed by some fun and lots of adventure!
Can you share a time when you felt your well-being was challenged in the past and what did you overcome it?
Not that long ago my life was complex, I was chronically stressed and exhausted and I pushed myself so hard and for so long that I broke – spectacularly!
In the space of minutes I went from being a high powered, award winning executive to on the floor, unable to participate in even the basics of life and unable to stop crying.
My life shattered into a million pieces around me and I found myself staring face to face at the bottom of the abyss that is a breakdown.
Up to that point I had spent all my time chasing after everyone else, making sure everyone around me was okay and ignoring any and all of the things I needed to be doing to look after myself.
Then suddenly I found myself in a space where I had nothing to do, nowhere to go and no one relying on me for anything – the only thing that required my attention was myself.
As I began the long, confronting, painful and overwhelming journey back to recovery I began to understand that a lot of the things I believed to be true in my life were simply things that I had created to distract myself from looking at the ways in which my life wasn’t working for me.
The more I delved into the threads that were holding me together, the more I realised that I had become someone I didn’t recognise. I had moved so far away from the core of who I am that it was no wonder I was dropped so I could stop and find my way home.
Perhaps my greatest discovery through this process was understanding that way that we wait for trauma to allow ourselves to take a break, when in reality a small bit of kindness to ourselves on a regular basis releases so much pressure and allows us to experience happiness every day.
Through my journey to recovery I unleashed the creative side of myself and began writing. Learning to allow my voice its place in the world literally saved my life.
And not only has it saved my life, but my books, articles and interviews now work globally to help people take small, simple and practical steps to live their lives in a different way.
My life now is very cool – I visit amazing places around the world, connect with brilliant minds in all sorts of different ways and I get to spend time doing the things I love and watching the world change through small steps taken by individuals who dare to do things differently.
What does being healthy mean to you and how do you keep this at the forefront when life gets unavoidably busy?
I believe that self-compassion is the key to being healthy. We’re only ever as busy as we choose to be … and I believe in this so strongly that I included a whole chapter in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ on business and another one on ‘No is a complete Sentence’.
Most of us are busy for one of two reasons:
- We don’t know how to say ‘No’ so we end up doing a whole heap of things that we don’t like, don’t want to be doing and that are actually draining our energy from us.
- We’re caught up in a competition to see who can be the busiest and we don’t even know we’re competing.
I broke myself worrying about everyone else around me and giving nothing to myself. Now, my energy levels and my health are my number 1 priority so that I am always fully charged and ready to go.
I give so much more of myself now than I ever did before, BUT my energy is very deliberately shared in places that I am connected to, that are aligned with my values and that will give me energy back in return.
I make sure my days are filled with people, places, activities and things that make me laugh, that feed my connection with my soul and that I walk away from feeling fabulous.
Sure, I still do some things that I don’t really want to do – but they’re limited in number and limited in the length of time that I do them for.
Your health is such a precious thing. Without it your life is miserable. You get to choose your level of health, so why not step into the greatest version of yourself available to you?
Have you ever taken a holiday specifically for your well-being? Can you share what the experience was like?
I dedicate time every year to attending a retreat of some sort for well-being, however I don’t view it as a holiday. It’s time for me to spend extended, dedicated time restoring and regenerating myself for the next steps of my journey.
Next year, I already have two 10-day retreats booked – one for meditation in the first part of the year and one for yoga in the middle of the year.
It’s so important to give yourself the opportunity to spend dedicated time to explore the depths of yourself so you can step strongly into your destiny and easily walk the path that you have been given.
My work takes me to all sorts of places around the world so I often combine that with travel opportunities that are for my well-being. For example, earlier this year I was in Colorado Springs and found myself at a the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Sanctuary having an intimate experience with some wolves. Not only did I get to combine my love of animals with time outdoors but it was an opportunity to spend time with a smile that lit my eyes and expanded my heart.
When your life is aligned with who you are, these experiences come to you seemingly out of nowhere. They land on your door and you have memories that are ingrained in your heart and your mind – the kind of memories that never fade.
Every woman's idea of self-care is different, tell us about yours?
For me self-care is getting rid of the words ‘success’ and ‘failure’. Instead, I use the words ‘adventure’ and ‘explore’. I live my life with the same mindset that most people have when they go on holidays. I’m prepared to try new things, go to new places and meet new people and if it doesn’t work out then my whole life isn’t impacted.
I believe that when you try something new and it doesn’t really work out that that is just as fabulous as when something goes spectacularly well. Instead of viewing life challenges as painful and tedious I see them as a sign to stop – that there is something there I need to learn.
When you work within the ebb and flow of life you feel the support you are given to go where you need to go.
It’s only within the depths of our life experiences that we can truly master the things we need to master to achieve our life purpose.