Without awareness, we simply go through life unconsciously, blind to the infinite choices and potentials in front of us. By being aware of who we are, how we create, how we react, and from which perspective we observe the world around us, we will perceive more choices available to us at all times.
Inspirational coach and author Julia Loggins recently co-wrote a book, Revolutionary Beauty, with Patricia Bragg. Julia describes herself as “a creative, a healer, and a change maker.”
There are endless tools we can create and apply in the experience of our daily lives to balance our focus outwards by going inwards. Once we see how beneficial these tools are, we can’t help but share them with others and make a difference in the world. We can lead by our own example. And who doesn’t naturally gravitate to the people who shine great light and see that light in others?
In Revolutionary Beauty, Julia and Patricia share many tools that they use themselves, allowing harmony and balance to prevail in their experience. Julia relates one of her techniques: “One of the tools I use is a type of biofeedback, which I learned from a wonderful teacher about how to discover whether I was actually aware of the present stress level, which is not necessarily what my mind was telling me it was. I thought I was just very calm, but a very upbeat person. So, as I started practicing with biofeedback, I discovered that internally, it was an acid bath. And so I had to learn how to match what was really going on and to bring that down, and to balance that. So that’s one of the tools I teach and that’s something really important to me. I also share many other inspirational tools in the book.”
From our human perspective, we see everything and everyone as separate from us. From our wider perspective, we see everything and everyone as one. We, physically focused beings, are continually dancing between these two perspectives, the perspective of self and the perspective of one. Regardless of our beliefs, we all have the ability, from time to time, to sense that there is more to us than just our perceived physicality.
“Patricia, who I co-wrote the book with, is somebody that’s always been connected to both a very Earth-based form of spirituality, and then also sort of a Christian presentation. I grew up with life-threatening illnesses. So, for me, especially growing up, where I was mostly hospitalized, my world existed outside my body in the spirit world. And so that access, that veil was always very thin for me. I feel that that’s a significant imprint of who we are. That faith, I believe, is the foundation of everything, whatever you call it and whatever feels true to you, it’s about embracing that and allowing ourselves to have to feel that contact,” says Julia.
Our body is the most extraordinary and advanced technology ever designed. When our awareness is keen enough, we will clearly hear within if it’s our body speaking to us—or our mind, whose function is to keep us safe and in the comfort zone.
“I’ve been a health practitioner for almost 40 years. In my experiences, the people with whom I work, their communication with their bodies, is out of touch with what they really need. So, what we talk a lot about in the book, is that you can’t really trust your body, to tell you what it needs, unless it’s really healthy. Because for instance, if you have a sugar addiction, your body will tell you that you need sugar. Maybe it’s telling you that you need something else that may not be optimal for your health! So to me, especially because of the chemicals we’re dealing with in our environment, and neurotoxins that affect our brain, they affect that communication. So, a lot of what I teach for people is detoxifying and cleansing their body so that they can put that connection with their body back in place and have it be really trustworthy,” says Julia. “It’s astonishing when I would ask my clients, ‘Well, tell me how happy you feel and do you ever have headaches?’ And they often respond, ‘I never have headaches, just maybe a little bit every day.’ So that’s an indication that something is out of balance here. Our foundation is continually calming our mind so we can get in touch with our body.”
Aside from breathing, exercise can be one of the most valuable tools to soften our mind. By doing any physical activity, we are putting all the focus on our body; therefore, our brain naturally takes a break from too much thinking. Then, we can gently get back to the mind’s focus, allowing us to perceive fresh ideas and inspiration flowing through us.
“I get out of my clinic at lunchtime for 45 minutes and walk the hills in my neighborhood. I take another really long walk at night, no matter how late it is. Luckily, I live in a place where the weather is good, so even if it’s eight or nine o’clock, I’m still going to go out there and take a long walk. When I was younger, I did years of Bikram yoga. So, there’s always been some kind of exercise that I’ve loved. And I’ve just adapted to whatever works for my body over the years. But exercise is critical, for sure,” recalls Julia.
Pleasure feels nice. Being open to receiving pleasure feels nice. When you embody the beauty of who you are, when you embrace your birthright to be in ecstasy with your whole beingness, then communication of what and how you would like to receive and give becomes vibrational.
Julia excitedly says, “Patricia and I wrote a whole chapter in Revolutionary Beauty about pleasure, and about learning how to receive. Because I feel like a lot of pleasure and sensuality is allowing ourselves to receive, just the same as getting messages from the spirit world, getting messages from our body. And so receptivity is really important. And for many of my clients, and for my readers, I’ve discovered in dialogues with them that a lot is feeling safe in receiving, creating safe boundaries as a part of being able to safely receive and how to communicate this is a part of it. I mean, I think all of those things establish safety and trust. I think relearning how to receive and then creating safety around being receptive is a really important piece of that. There are a lot of messages in our society that have to do with shame and guilt. People are processing through a deep level of conditioning around it. One of our contributors, Katie Hendricks, PhDl, said that ‘in our society, power is acceptable, pleasure is not.’ So we talk a lot about allowing pleasure to have its right place.”
We think that with age, we are supposed to become depleted. But that just can’t be true, as with age we gain more tools for balance, more awareness, more clarity, more knowing. With age, we are designed to be more vibrant and vital—and then living our physical realm truly becomes a deliberate decision.
“Oh, I’ll be 67 in March. And I feel like I’m sort of just beginning. I’m always learning and everything that’s ever happened is a part of who I am. And sometimes I can see the puzzle pieces, how they match together better now than I could even 10 years ago. I have come to understand how all of this made me, and has allowed me to continue to shed the skins that didn’t work, and to have more courage to be myself. And I think that’s the absolute beauty of age. It’s beautiful, and in our society, aging gets a bad rap. A lot of that has to do with people’s sense that things are over rather than beginning. I mean, Patricia’s company, which became what was the first and largest natural foods company, her greatest success in it was when she sold it three years ago to fund her foundation at the age of 86. I mean, she really figured out what the message was and how to do it. That’s pretty incredible. So yeah, let that be for all of us,” says Julia.
Beauty is more intangible than tangible. Beauty is not how people see us, but how you feel yourself emanating the innate beauty of who we are—the lifeforce expressing itself through all our physical faculties.
Julia expresses her perception of beauty: “We wrote the whole book about beauty. I feel like for every woman, it’s impossible not to have been influenced and conditioned by our external rules, a punishing set of rules of physical perfection that have a certain look to them. That has nothing to do with our beauty. I found a beautiful piece of research, when I was writing, a scientist (who) in England discovered something that people will resonate with: he discovered that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, it is actually inside us. And we radiate it out like a hologram. And what we project is what people see. As we change how we feel about ourselves, we are seen differently. And then what I write about in our book, Revolutionary Beauty, is to redefine our own beauty and to acknowledge the conditioning we were raised with and to let that go. We are the light.”
We all love to give because giving feels good for as long as our act of giving is not conditioned. But oftentimes, we give and then we get depleted because we forget that, first and foremost, we have to be steady; so whatever we offer comes from our perspective of love and oneness.
“I think that the main theme of Revolutionary Beauty is for women and for all beings to prioritize themselves. We have to put ourselves first; we really can’t offer anything if our cup isn’t full. I always use the metaphor of a queen bee. And a queen bee is really tended first because she has to care for herself first or the whole hive will completely disappear. So, we’re all queen bees of our hives and we must care for ourselves exactly in that way. And then our cup is flowing; otherwise, it becomes empty,” Julia declares.
Challenges only become a problem when we focus on the part of it that doesn’t serve us anymore. But when instead of simply reacting, we choose to respond with awareness and deliberately recognize that there is value in all of our experiences, we will rise above any situation—and from that state of being, we will start to see the solutions.
“Every single day, there’s a challenge on my plate. I feel the first thing to do is to kind of move out of that victim state. So it’s easy to perceive that this is happening to me from the perspective of a knee jerk human response. And so instead I ask myself, ‘How can I shift this? And how can I have a bigger perspective? How can I come back to faith?’ And sometimes it takes me a little bit of time to breathe. I have to tell myself, ‘Go take some deep breaths.’ And that’s just sort of the first thing I do is come back to the breath. And then I move into knowing that things happen for a reason. And then I get back into my sense of faith and trust. So that my response is through love, trust, and faith.”
Channeled by the spiritual teacher Kosta Trifunovic, he says, “As you practice softening your thoughts, you are on the way to really grasping and fully experiencing the wider perspective. Everything you give your attention to is a reflection of you, back to you. The wider perspective embodied by you and everyone else is that perspective of Self while measuring, and comparing, and noticing, and observing, and choosing, and making decisions based on all that physical action. But in essence, One. The breath you take was someone else’s exhalation. Your exhalation becomes someone else’s inhalation, and so, everything is at all times interconnected.”
“What I like the most about myself,” Julia continues, “is that I’m very trusting and optimistic. And what I like to see in others, especially others that are close to me, are abilities to forgive. Because we’re human. And we’re always kind of bumbling along. We don’t mean to make mistakes. We don’t mean to hurt other people. But, you know, the ability to forgive is a deep and rare gift. And so to be able to love each other through our humanity, and to trust that we are always growing.”
Like Julia, are you embracing life so that you can experience it to your fullest potential?
Photography // Sean McCue