Hot Women to Watch: Carly Stephan…a big heart devoted to social change.

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{Hot Women to Watch is a monthly feature where I put the spotlight on one beautiful soul whose work I’m appreciating and cheering on because something tells me this is just the beginning.} 

I met Carly Stephan one evening at A NIGHT OF STILLNESS (a collaborative event that has now been put to rest).  Despite her petite delicate frame Carly radiated a lot of calm strength and confidence.  There was just something about her presence that told me she was quite a powerhouse..and she is.

For more than eight years Carly has dedicated herself to being an international aid and development practitioner travelling to places like Africa, Asia and the Pacific.  More recently, she has just been appointed Program Manager of the (newly opened) Centre for Social Change here in Brisbane which has a mission to support people working towards positive social, economic and environmental change through providing access to resources, expertise and networks. She’ll be working on social change issues, community development, empowerment, women and gender, environmental sustainability and alternative economics. (This is BIG work!)

Carly has also recently launched her website called, Pockets of Peace where she writes about wellness, peace and inspiration.

Introducing Carly Stephan…

{Lets go deep and meaningful}

From breakdown to breakthrough, what was this moment for you?  The defining moment that changed e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.  

There hasn’t been one specific defining moment, it’s been more like several significant wake up calls for me, which have come in both the form of a whisper, and the odd banshee scream.

One of the most interesting was noticing that my physical health was correlating with internal emotional turmoil I was grappling with. Sore throats, recurrent hay fever, and other illnesses would all flair up when I wasn’t living in my truth and acknowledging that I was struggling. Taking control of my health and wellbeing really helped me tune in to the intelligence of my body and its messages.

I also kept on seeing that the same situations and lessons were revisiting me, and getting up in my face, screaming for attention. So I got real with myself and went within to explore just what was going on, which was confronting, but has paid the most massive dividend to me.

Once I made the decision to commit to my own wellbeing (and crucially, not needing others to commit to me before I committed to me), and sought guidance for it, everything fell in to place – and continues to keep falling in to place. The right teachers, the right healers, the right books, the right articles, blog posts, conversations, opportunities, challenges, as well as painful lessons, all keep on continuing to serve me, and my journey to my highest good and potential.

What does” a day in the life of Carly” look like?

Wake up and sit or lie in meditation for between 15 minutes and half an hour. The type of meditation differs according to my mood, but will include an element of gratitude giving and intention setting at some point. I’ll do a bit of gentle stretching, roll downs, whatever my body feels like doing. Shower, change, and then start getting breakfast ready which is generally a super food smoothie, which I can take with me.

If I have time I’ll do some writing and posting on Pockets of Peace, or prep to post something online over lunch.

At work I’m a program manager, so activities vary widely from planning, to designing projects, meeting with prospective partners, planning events, to researching and writing. And working with amazing people!

Generally after work finishes up I’ll fit some type of exercise in – yoga, running, maybe some type of dance. Otherwise I’ll be at an event, or connecting with friends and family over a meal.

By the end of the day I may try and fit a bit more writing in, and check in with Pockets of Peace.

To wind down, all technology goes off, and I’ll pick up one of the many books on my bedside table to start gearing down from my day. Possibly with a chamomile tea in hand. Finally a bit of meditation. This hopefully lasts longer than five minutes, after which I’ll be snoozing heavily in the land of nod.

What has been the most challenging thing to let go of so you could put yourself first (be it your health or your desires or your inner voice)?

The most challenging thing to let go of recently has been my compulsion to be overly helpful, and put other people’s concerns and needs before my own. I’m definitely a recovering co-dependent.

As a woman particularly, I think that we’re taught by society that it’s noble to be a martyr and put others before ourselves, nurture, protect, serve and soothe. Which are all fine things to do of course, but don’t forget to do all of this for yourself too. Ironically, radical self-care allows you to be so much more present and ‘helpful’ to others than if you’re constantly depleting yourself attending to other’s needs and concerns all the time.

What question are you currently living?
What an awesome question! I’d have to say right now it’s, to what extent can I let go? Completely? Can I let go of the illusion of control, let go of expectations of how things ‘should’ be, let go of other people’s expectations and opinions, society’s expectations. How much I can let go is most certainly a question I’m currently living.

What books are you always telling people to read?

  • Eckhart Tolle’s books ‘The Power of Now’ and ‘A New Earth’, and Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’. These are each seminal texts in getting to know your own strength.
  • Caitlyn Moran’s ‘How to Be a Woman’ because it’s side-splittingly funny. I had tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks for most of the book.
  • I’m halfway through Caroline Myss’ ‘Anatomy of the Spirit’ and that’s going to be another one I’ll be recommending!
  • ‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerard Durrell. His writing is sublime.

When do you most feel like a Goddess?
When I’m in touch with my true essence and femininity, moving my body in yoga, dancing, or swimming in the sea and connecting to nature. Massage and energy work also makes me feel like a goddess.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear: CHANGE?
The essential nature of all that is. Change is a constant, and flowing with it creates a lot more ease within.

 

{Now for the Short and sweet…}

I’m interested in…people accessing the power within themselves.

I believe…the universe is inside us all.

In my experience…gratitude begets more things to be grateful for.

2013 is… about going big.


Connect with Carly here.

 

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5 Comments to “Hot Women to Watch: Carly Stephan…a big heart devoted to social change.”

  1. Thank you so much, Susana for posting this lovely nugget. I am totally loving learning about Helen. It sounds like such amazing work that she does…awesome to know more people like her! xo

  2. “I’m definitely a recovering co-dependent.” HOLLER! :)

    This whole interview had me grinning and shivering with delight!

    Thank you Susana for sharing Carly’s incredible gifts. Love you both big big time. xxx

  3. Thanks, ladies! And thanks Susana for your beautiful questions – and this gorgeous series. Truly honoured to be a part of it.

    Love xx

  4. […] was completely honoured to be featured in Susana Frioni’s Hot Women to Watch Interview Series last week. This monthly series has been a favourite of mine for awhile now, so to […]

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