interview

INTERVIEW WITH: BONNIE ROSE

Bonnie and Hugh Rose March 15, 2015 Not for resale without permission Copyright Gerard Burkhart Photo 2016.

Bonnie and Hugh Rose March 15, 2015 Not for resale without permission Copyright Gerard Burkhart Photo 2016.

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  I am currently on a ship, but planned this amazing interview ahead of time.  You are going to LOVE it!  So much wisdom, insight, and spiritual nuggets.  Before we jump into it, if you love these interviews as much as I do and are interested in being interviewed (or know someone that is), feel free to reach out to me!  I'm always looking for new guests!  Okay, onto the interview! Meet Bonnie Rose!  I have had the pleasure of knowing Bonnie for about 12 years, as she is the senior minister at the church second home that I attend.  I used to put her on this grandiose pedestal adorned with jewels and gold because, after all, she IS a minister! Then, while bonding over hula-hooping, television shows on Netflix, and our mutual obsession with animals, I realized that while she IS amazing on so many levels, she is more of a mentor and friend (which I am really happy about).

I asked to interview Bonnie, because she absolutely embodies a happy, healthy balance. She eloquently expresses herself with such wisdom, while simultaneously mixing the sacred and profane in a graceful and humorous way.  Isn't that what life is about?  Isn't that what balance is?  I like to think so.

Below is the delightful interview that overflows with joy, spiritual nuggets, and topics that really make you ponder.  I just know that you're going to love it!  Enjoy!

Q + A

Q + A

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

BONNIE:   To make a long story short, I was born in New York.  Lived in North Carolina for nine years where I got two degrees – one in nursing and another in vocal performance.  I returned to New York and worked as a nurse, actress and opera singer.  I got married and adopted a cat.   In the early 90s my husband, our two cats and I did a year-long National tour of a Broadway Show.  Then we moved to California, where I worked again as a nurse, opera singer and corporate trainer.   Somewhere along the way, I got interested in studying theology, so I got a Master of Divinity degree.  Now I am the Sr. Minister of the Ventura Center for Spiritual Living.   I’ve been there for close to 12 years.  My husband and I live in Santa Paula, CA, with two dogs, a cat, birds, fish, and box turtles.

Q: In regards to your career, you have accomplished so much, and in a wide variety of professions.  Can you briefly share them, and how you found the inspiration to transition from one to another?

B:   My life has taken many unexpected turns and I’ve done many things that I never dreamed of doing.  It seems that God kept placing intuitions in my heart and opportunities in my life.  I just kept saying yes to that which interested and inspired me.  I had many doubts along the way, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and was willing to be surprised.

Bonnie quote 1

Bonnie quote 1

Q: What inspired you to start your blog Holy Chit?

B: I have a great love of playful paradox and blending the sacred and the profane.  With Holy Chit, I wanted a blog that would give “spiritual people” permission to be human.  I wanted a place where it was safe to explore the sacred nature of our flaws here in the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Q: Do you have a mission/goal with your life’s work?  Explain either way.

B: Yes, it’s what I just said and more.  I recently re-read something that defined perfection as “inclusive of everything.”  I long to help people find radical inclusivity, aka “perfection” in all of the weirdness and wonder of being simultaneously human and divine.

Q: What is something that makes you feel vulnerable, but you do it anyway?

B: I always feel vulnerable when I put my words “out there,” whether through public speaking, writing or even a difficult conversation.  I do it anyway because the urges to express, be helpful or be authentic are stronger than the fears that want to keep me silent.

Q: How do you show yourself radical self-love?

B: I spend lots of time with my dogs, Saraswati and Bartok.  They are experts at giving and receiving unconditional love.

Q: What is your favorite self-care regimen?

B: I feel best when I can spend an hour or more hiking in the mountains with the dogs.

Q: When do you feel the most beautiful?

B: When I am in a state of awe and appreciation of the mysteries of existence.

Bonnie quote 3

Bonnie quote 3

Q: Do you have a daily spiritual practice?  If so, describe it.

B: I do a brief prayer/meditation in the morning when I ask God to direct my day.   I meditate and contemplate while I hike.  I often read spiritual material.  But most of my spiritual practice is doing my best to “take the meditation off the mat,” – that is applying conscious loving kindness and deliberate grace to all of the many tasks and interactions I perform daily.

Q: What does a Happy, Healthy Balance look like to you?

B: Lots of playfulness and joy infused in all of the things I do – writing, ministering, speaking, taking care of my loved ones, cooking, etc.

Q: Where can we find you?

B: Church website // Blog // Facebook   Please feel free to stop by any time!

TOP 10

TOP 10

1. What is the last meal you cooked?

B: Butternut squash soup.

2. Favorite food?

B: Chocolate chip cookies.

3. Favorite way to indulge?

B: Binge-streaming a really good show on Netflix.

4. What is your favorite way to move your body?

B: Hiking in the mountains.

5. Who is your girl crush?

B: Detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order SVU.

6. What is your spirit animal?

B: My Vizsla’s.  (Hungarian Pointers)

7. What is one of your favorite quotes?

B: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  Mary Oliver

Bonnie quote 2

Bonnie quote 2

8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?

B: The Irreverent Reverend

9. What is the best gift (material or not) that you have ever received?

B: My dogs.

10. What is your wish for the world?

B: Radiant compassion for all beings.

Isn't Bonnie fantastic?!  I hope you all enjoyed this interview with her as much as I did.  I felt like I got so many "ah-ha's" from it.  Did you?

Well, I'll be back on Wednesday with a recap of my trip!

xo.  Jen

INTERVIEW WITH: RAVEN PINSKER

Good morning, beauties!  I have a special interview for you today, but before we jump into it, I wanted to do a brief check-in with you (my awesome readers).  In the upcoming posts, I really want to concentrate on quality over quantity.  Starting next week, I am going to try out only posting Monday/Wednesday/Friday.  This may be temporary, or it may be permanent.  Just seeing what works best.  Life is a constant learning process, right? Secondly, I really want to hear from YOU (again, my stellar readers)!  What do YOU want to read?  Below is a quick poll for you:

[polldaddy poll=9150885]

Lastly, I have three coaching spots available for November.  If you're interested in working together, or just wanna chat, connect with me here.  Okay, on to the interview!

Raven1

Raven1

Meet Raven Pinsker!  Raven and I have been friends for quite some time.  We met at our spiritual center when we were about 13/14 years old, and instantly became friends.  Well, let me just say, that while yes, she is stunning, her heart of gold and kind spirit is what I adore most about her! Raven is a professional make-up artist that uses her creativity to enhance the inner and outer beauty that we all naturally embody.  I asked Raven to join us today, because she is SUCH a HHB gal!  She is all about empowering women, and raising the beauty consciousness.   I am so excited to have her here for all of you learn more about her, and her biz.  Take a peek below to learn more about Raven!

Q + A

Q + A

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

RAVEN: I am a Professional Makeup Artist, certified by The Academy of Makeup and Fashion in Canoga Park, California. ♥  I’ve been doing makeup free-lance for about two years with focus on Bridal, Print and Special Events.

RP - Full Logo Final

RP - Full Logo Final

Q: What inspired you to become a make-up artist?

R: Empowering women.  In my personal experience as a woman, mother and Makeup Artist, I find most women (myself included) too easily focus on what we don’t like about ourselves, feel defined by those “flaws” and perhaps even apologize for them.  As women, we are naturally powerful, and can inadvertently allow our self-proclaimed imperfections to define our self-image and confidence.   What inspires me is the ability to remind women of their beauty and to bring their beautiful features to light.   That is empowering. :)

raven quote 1

raven quote 1

Q: If applicable, how is your relationship with make-up different now, than it was when you were in high school?

R: To put it very kindly, I was a makeup catastrophe in high school.  I saw makeup as a way to hide from my perfectionistic insecurities and low self-esteem.  I was the biggest critic of my own appearance, not willing to accept that although my features are different, they are beautiful in their own way.   Instead, my method was, the more makeup, EVERYWHERE, the better.  I used makeup to define me versus letting it enhance the natural beauty I had hiding behind it.

I think the biggest change in my relationship with makeup since high school, has been; me.  It took me time to discover my beauty, strength and positive self-image.  Today I use makeup to highlight the features I love most about myself, which would be my eyes, lips and cheek bones.  I feel great on the inside and want that to reflect on the outside.  It’s really great fun.

Q: Why do you love make-up, and what do you feel like it does to the person wearing it?

R: I love makeup because it’s an amazing tool for self-expression. It gives you control over the planes of your facial structure, manipulates how light and shadows hit your face, and can overall enhance the beautiful facial features we all have in one form or another.

It’s the most rewarding confirmation that I’m doing my life’s purpose when a client says to me, “I never knew I could look this beautiful” or “I never knew my eyes were that color!”  I think when women wear makeup they feel empowered and validated that they are amazing, and their features celebrated.

Sample1

Sample1

Q: How do you show yourself radical self-love?

R: Loving and accepting myself through my journey, the ups the downs and the imperfections along the way.  Knowing there is a reason why I strongly advocate self-love and empowerment for women from the inside out; as it is a chapter I can close with confidence and help others do the same.

Q: What is your favorite self-care regimen?

R: Taking the time to be centered no matter what life throws my way – trusting and always living from a place of gratitude for my soul’s journey and life’s blessings.

Q: When do you feel the most beautiful?

R: Raising my beautiful daughter, and doing girly things. :)

Q: Do you have a spiritual practice?  If so, describe it.

R: Not specifically, it’s more of a state of mind and a trust in a higher power.

Q: What does a Happy, Healthy Balance look like to you?

R: Doing in life what makes you the most fulfilled and happy! :)

Q: Where can we find you?

R: www.ravenmakeup.com//Facebook//Instagram

TOP 10

TOP 10

1. What is the last meal you cooked?

R: Lemon Chicken.

2. Favorite food?

R: Pasta.

3. Favorite way to indulge?

R: Staying in bed all day.

4.  What is your favorite way to move your body?

R: I love Pilates!

5. Who is your girl crush?

R: Huda Heidi Kattan.

6. What is your spirit animal?

R: Raven?

7. What is one of your favorite quotes?

R: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

raven quote 2

raven quote 2

8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?

R: Beyond Beauty

9. What is the best gift (material or not) that you’ve ever received?

R: My daughter.

10. What is your wish for the world?

R: Trust.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this interview with Raven, as much as I enjoyed asking her the questions!

xo.  Jen

INTERVIEW WITH: ASHTEN FROM JUST GO LEFT

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Good morning, lovies!  I'm really loving the interviews I have been doing lately.  My first was with the lovely ladies from She Arises, and the second was with Helya Naghibi from The Studio. Both great, so I definitely recommend checking them out!  Today, I'm on to interview number three! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ashten Giardine!  You're going to love her as much as I do, I already know! ;-)  She is the witty, charismatic, and joyful lifestyle blogger behind Just Go Left, and I simply adore her.  While Ashten may be a new friend to you, I have know her for roughly 15 years (think: me in my awkward braces-wearing stage in high school).  We bonded over lunch while eating Jack in Box curly fries, and I always thought she was soooo cool because she worked at Starbucks.  Fun fact: Ashten was the first person that EVER introduced me to texting.  Nowadays, we still chat about our deep love of coffee, but also our adoration for Brené Brown, wellness, dogs, USC Trojan football (don't hate), and Andie Mitchell.

I wanted to bring Ashten to The HHB because of the joy that she chooses to embrace.  She speaks it, she lives it, and quite honestly, that is the vibe I get from her just by looking at her pretty face in a photo.  I LOVE that!  Joy is part of balance, and of course, that is what we're all about here.  So, enough with my rambling, let's chat with Ms. Ashten!

Q + A

Q + A

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

ASHTEN:  I’m the lifestyle blogger behind Just Go Left.  I live in Atlanta with my boyfriend Kyle and our big white dog Gatsby.  I am always somewhere between healthy living and cramming a cupcake in my mouth (but I'm learning it's all about balance)!  I believe joy can always be found in a good cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito.  Apparently I really like food.

just go left logo

just go left logo

Q: You recently launched your new lifestyle blog, Just Go Left.  Tell us a little bit about your intentions, and what you want to share with your readers.

A:Just Go Left is my love letter to living my best life.  It’s my attempt to be more balanced, make better choices and find joy among life’s twists and turns.  You will read tidbits and tales from my everyday life: the good, the bad and the funny.  I try to find the joy in all of it, usually with a cup of coffee in hand and my big white dog, Gatsby, in tow.

Q: I LOVE that you intentionally choose joy!  What does that look like to you?

A: Choosing joy means I find bravery and strength to thrive despite life's obstacles. Easier said than done sometimes!

Ashten quote 1

Ashten quote 1

Q: Since we are both lovers of Brené Brown, I would love to hear how she inspires you, and which of her books is your fave?

A: I mean, what is there NOT to love about Brené Brown?! She’s one of my heroes. I love that she encourages us to get messy, to let go of the idea of perfection and get in touch with empathy and vulnerability. She makes me a better writer!

Q: How do you show yourself radical self-love?

A: I admit, I am not very good at radical self-love. I’m really, really hard on myself and I don’t always accept myself fully. This is something I’m really working on, and hopefully my blog will reflect this, and the positive changes that come from it!

Q: What is your favorite self-care regimen?

A: Every morning I wake up at 5:30am and take my dog, Gatsby, for a 3.5 mile walk around our neighborhood. It’s my quiet time: when I get centered, collect my thoughts and prepare for my day. I always feel ready for the day when I get home.

ashten and gatsby

ashten and gatsby

Q: When do you feel the most beautiful?

A: This might sound SO silly, but honestly, I feel the most beautiful when I curl my hair into “mermaid curls."  I don’t know why, but adding a little sass to my hair always makes me feel a little more beautiful.

Q: Do you have a spiritual practice?  If so, describe it.

A: I write in a “joy journal” every night before I go to bed; I basically write down all the things (big and small) that brought me joy throughout the day. I know that’s not very spiritual, but it’s very therapeutic for me.

Q: What does a Happy, Healthy Balance look like to you?

A: A happy, healthy balance means I make choices that fuel me mentally, physically and spiritually.

Q: Where can we find you?  IE: site, blog, IG, FB, etc.

A: BlogInstagramFacebookPinterestTwitter

TOP 10

TOP 10

1. What is the last meal you cooked?

A: Sweet potato, cubed, seasoned with season salt and garlic powder, cooked in a pan with olive oil, with a scrambled egg on top. It’s my go-to meal right now: so easy and satisfying!

2. Favorite food?

A: Sushi, hibachi and breakfast burritos.

3. Favorite way to indulge?

A: Every time I come back to California to visit, I stop at In N Out and have a #2 animal style, with animal style fries. Never regret that meal!

4. What is your favorite way to move your body?

A: I like to walk my dog Gatsby every morning. We do 3.5 miles!

5. Who is your girl/boy crush?

A: Boy: Leonardo DiCaprio (since Titanic!)

Girl: Rachel McAdams

6. What is your spirit animal?

A boxer dog. They’re clumsy, playful, devoted, bright, loyal, energetic, friendly, calm, cheerful, confident, fearless, brave & intelligent.

7. What is one of your favorite quotes?

A: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Albus Dumbledore

8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?

A: Give Me Coffee and I’ll Tell You Anything.

IMG_9919

IMG_9919

9. What is the best gift (material or not) that you’ve ever received?

A: After my grandma passed away in 2011, I was given one of her rings. It is, to this day, my most prized possession.

10. What is your wish for the world?

A: That we would spend less time comparing ourselves to others, and more time finding happiness in our own lives.

Ashten quote 2

Ashten quote 2

Well, I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did!  Head over to Just Go Left, and show Ashten some love!

xo.  Jen

INTERVIEW WITH: HELYA FROM THE STUDIO

Heisler_K_Helya031

Heisler_K_Helya031

Good morning, friends!  Today I have a very special post for you.  Remember a few weeks ago when I did my first interview with the lovely ladies from She Arises?  Well, today I have my second interview for you! I am very excited to introduce YOU (my amazing readers) to Helya Naghibi!  Helya is not only a friend of mine, but I also trained privately with her before I moved away from Ventura.  One of the things that I love about Helya is that she has such a big heart, and truly wants the best for everyone.  She literally researched various exercises and modifications just for me because of my weird knees, and we would test them out together.  Helya worked with me in a gentle, yet tough way, because she has so much faith in what her clients are capable of.  I also love that she innately knows the difference between when her clients need an extra boost, and when they need to rest.

Part of why I wanted Helya here on The HHB is because she is all about balance.  She meets people where they are at, and helps them set realistic, attainable goals.  Health and happiness are high on her list, and you can really feel that when you talk with her.  Honestly, I wish she would just move into our spare room, but I think her fiancé, pups, and everyone else in Ventura may miss her.  As for now, I will settle for seeing her via social media.

If you live in the Ventura County area, I highly recommend checking out The Studio for either a private session, or one of the amazing classes.  For now, read more about Helya below.

Q + A

Q + A

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

HELYA: Hi! My name is Helya and I’m a NASM Certified personal Trainer and I own a small boutique studio in the beautiful city of Ventura, CA.  I absolutely love what I do, I am extremely passionate about health and wellness and my clients mean the world to me.

Q: Have you always been into fitness?  If not, what inspired you to get into your healthy lifestyle?

H: Nope! I was very much a late bloomer, as some would say. I did not seriously start making changes in my life until after I had gained all of my weight and was told by my family that I no longer had the metabolism I used to have. I also saw some really awful pictures and was horrified. I started to work out, but I didn’t actually change my lifestyle until about 3 years ago.

I always wanted to “lose weight” and to me, that was healthy. But there was a point where I realized, no matter how much “weight” I lost, I could always find something else to beat myself up about. I realized that losing weight was not a goal for me; I had to love myself first and simply take care of my body. That means I have to nurture it, give it good food and move. Move it every day! And honestly, everything else just fell into place after that!

HELYA QUOTE 1

HELYA QUOTE 1

Q: What was the motivation behind starting The Studio?

H: I have a confession: if you told me I would open a gym in a town where I knew no one and moved to only 3 years ago, I would call you crazy. But life is crazy! I have always known that I would work with people, I just had not realized how until I found fitness. When I took my first group class at a small gym, I was in awe of all of the amazing people around me. I then heard their stories and found my own. I started to get certifications left and right and before I knew it, I was being asked for advice, for training... and it ultimately just grew into this incredible community I now call, My Studio Squad.

Print

Print

Q: What is your mission/goal?

H: To help people become the BEST version of themselves, because they deserve to see that, be that and live that!

Q: How do you show yourself radical self-love?

H: I truly live the life I talk about with my client. I love my body. I care for my body by nourishing it, by moving it and by living the best version of me. I call that radical self love ;)

Q: What is your favorite self-care regimen?

H: It’s been tough owning a business, I’ll admit. And there have been highs and lows, just like anything else. I make sure to set my schedule correctly so I have a day where it’s about me. I get to do whatever I want. Sometimes that means, I get to cook all day and play with my doggies. Other times, it means I get to have a glass of wine with my hunny. Whatever it is, it’s about me and no one else.

IMG_3478

IMG_3478

Q: When do you feel the most beautiful?

H: I feel the most beautiful when I’m in my element. I’m in my element when I’m training. Whether I’m with a client, a class or by myself, I feel the most beautiful when there is sweat on the floor from HARD WORK!

Q: Do you have a spiritual practice?  If so, describe it.

H: Yes, I believe in a Higher Power and I speak to Him often. I have a spiritual group I confide in and a spiritual coach I call when I need advice. It is the one thing I cannot explain, the one thing I have no words for other than… it keeps me feeling alive and sane.

Q: What does a Happy, Healthy Balance look like to you?

H: A happy, healthy balance means two things to me: 1. It means it is from the heart. As in, I truly believe in what I do day to day and it makes me happy. And 2. It is healthy in more than one way… in all ways that make me whole: mind, body and soul.

Q: Where can we find you?

A: Oh boy, so many places!

Website: www.thestudioworkout.com

Facebook

Instagram:

Personal - @hellyahelya

The Studio - @TheStudioVentura

Nutrition - @TheStudioNutrition

Recently I’ve joined Periscope where I can interact with my clients live while I teach them something like a new recipe or a workout, or a recovery technique.

My name on Periscope is: @Hellyahelya

Also, you can always email me: Helya@TheStudioworkout.com

TOP 10

TOP 10

1. What is the last meal you cooked?

H: Slow roasted garlic tomatoes and pureed into a salsa!

2. Favorite food?

H: Honestly I eat everything. Anything homemade is my fave!

3. Favorite way to indulge?

H: McConnel’s Ice cream seems to be the one right now.

4. What is your favorite way to move your body?

H: Dancing, with loud music on, all alone, at my Studio.

5. Who is your girl crush?

H: Right now, Ruby Rose! But all time crush is Mila Kunis.

6. What is your spirit animal?

H: Not sure exactly what that is, but something that flies, fast like… a hummingbird.

7. What is one of your favorite quotes?

H: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?

H: No. I don’t have a brother named Helno.

9. What is the best gift (material or not) that you’ve ever received?

H: My engagement ring - the promise to have a partner for the rest of my life.

10. What is your wish for the world?

H: My wish for the world is to live a life they are proud of.

HELYA QUOTE 2

HELYA QUOTE 2

I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did.  Thank you for joining us at The HHB, Helya!

xo.  Jen