Hi, my name’s Juliette Elisabeth. On Instagram, Facebook and Youtube I’m the Indigo Yogini which always makes me think of a masked crusader running around in yoga pants chanting ‘Om’ at everyone in true early Batman style. it makes me giggle.
My friends call me Jay, so, er, yep, call me that!
So how on earth did you start blogging about spiritual tools and Eco, Ethical and Cruelty Free Products?
The Spiritual stuff:
I remember distinctly that point where I’d reached the end of my tether. I had totally had enough. That breaking point where you mutter to yourself ‘Well, this sucks. Surely there’s got to be something more to this fucking life?’ Yep, I’d reached that point.
At the time I was working as a Higher Learning Teaching Assistant in a little Hampshire infant school. I’d taken a left turn out of my Choreography and Dance degree. To be fair, I didn’t know what to do when I graduated. I just knew I was getting a little old to continue dancing at that level. My body was reminding me every day about that. And, although I absolutely loved dance, I couldn’t just up sticks and move to London or wherever else it might take me, because my kids were young, at school, and needed stability. Dreams can be all very well, but I loved my kids too much to do that to them. So, my Mum was a primary school teacher and my Grandad had been a head…it seemed like the best fit at the time. I even got the holidays off to be with my beloved offspring! Cool, huh?
When I’d first started at the school, I’d worked over one side, with the Key Stage manager, but the Deputy Head, who taught the other side of the school pointed out their our side had three HLTAs and theirs had none. I really liked and respected the Key Stage Manager, but, to be honest I found the deputy head a little scary. I drew the short straw. I was sent over the other side.
The deputy head was northern and abrupt to the point of rude. She certainly didn’t trust new people, especially one of the Key stage manager’s darlings. I, ur, haven’t mentioned they didn’t get on, have I? Well, they didn’t. In not too short a time I began to see the deputy head for who she really was, a truly clever, compassionate, brilliant person and a wonderful teacher with a very dry and wry sense of humour. She realised I didn’t play politics, she could vent about stuff and I would keep my gob shut and not go running straight to the Key Stage manager, and I was bright and got her jokes. We began to really get on and respect each other.
So, how, I hear you ask, did I get to that point? Yeeerrrrrr. In short, liking the Deputy head, did not stop me liking and respecting the Key Stage Manager as well. I saw them both as brilliant, strong, knowledgeable women who truly cared about the children’s education and welfare. But, I didn’t blurt the KS Managers rants just as much as I didn’t blurt the Deputy Heads. In short, I got stuck in the middle of their ongoing feud. I felt like an accordion; pulled and squeezed at the same time. It got so bad I snuck in a saw the head, a wonderfully caring lady who knew all about her staff’s great strengths…and their weaknesses. She gave me some wonderful advice and told me come back if it got worse.
Salvation came in the form of an app. I’d been trying to learn to mediate for years. It took the accessibility of an app to get me there. This first simple freebie, Zarzen lite just timed the length you wanted to meditate and gave you a mindfulness bell every minute. Those first meditations were just me just watching my breathing and counting my breaths to 10. Someone had told me this simple Buddhist mindfulness technique years earlier, but it never worked because my thoughts would just wander off further and further into whatever was stressing me in the first place. I never actually maintained focus long enough for it do do any good. Mega frustrating! I’d give up after a few tries. But with Zarzen lite had this handy little mindfulness bell sounded every minute, so when I got distracted, it would chime, I would realise and go back to watching and counting. So, that’s how I survived my first term. I think, without that app and those tiny, few skills, I would have lost the plot entirely. But, knowing that was the tip of the iceburg, my ever curious brain was thirsting for more…and I began to search…
…This blog came from years of searching, hunting and generally seeking. It’s got so bad, friends started asking me what to do for x, y and z. I can’t remember how many Buddhism for Mothers I given or led people to, how many apps, tools, books and guides I’ve suggested. I laughed recently that I should write a book about these spiritual survival skills and someone said, ‘Why don’t you?’. That flummoxed me. I hadn’t actually made it as a serious suggestion. So I sat on that thought.
Just over a week ago I went to EAM’s (Energy Alignment Method) Energy Emergence Event in London. You’ll probably hear me blog about EAM, it’s one of my all time favourite tools in my spiritual survival toolkit. Anyway, it was the beginning of day two, morning coffee break and I was lining up for some much needed caffeine intake in the form of a nice cup of Early Grey. I was lost in thought. I’d come across a Gabby Bernstein YouTube video, I can’t even remember which one, but it said something along the lines of ‘whatever you have to say, you need to get up and say it. The universe needs your unique voice, your unique message, and you have to share it to the world in a way that that works best for you,’ and I was pondering that book idea again and thinking, ‘really? Someone is really going to want to listen to what I have to say?’ Totally a ‘lil ‘ol me’ moment.
In some freaky coincidence or universe-led synchronicity depending on what you believe, a lady came dashing up asking if I was Jay? Bemused, I told her yes, I was Jay. It turned out this lady had seen a comment I had made on a CFS group which mentioned EAM (yes I have CFS, focus people please!) and what I had said had led her to look me up (not in a stalkerish way she assured me) and found out what EAM was, and that had brought her to the event. She said she was drawn by what I had said, the words I had used and the way I had said them. She was fascinated by words. Ok so by that point I was in all out goosbumpy freakiness, but what she said struck home, a) I also loves words, part of my Master’s is in Applied Linguistics, so it made me listen to what she was telling me and that led to b) she just answered the question I had asked myself. I went back to my table in shock, told them about what had happened. Next thing I know, I’ve stood up, with a microphone and told the entire 104 other eventees! Straight after that I had two people handing me publishing info AND four people saying they wanted to hear the stuff BEFORE the book, so get a blog.
The Eco, Ethical, Sustainable and Cruelty Free stuff:
Ok, so I’m a surfer. A really, really bad surfer, but a surfer nonetheless. One of the first things I learned other than NEVER, EVER take your leash off, was the sea is really polluted. Surfers have banded together against all the pollution and Surfers’ Against Sewage have been going for well over a decade. Other newer organisations have emerged. One of my fave new ones 4ocean, literally take out one pound of plastic pollution from the sea for every bracelet (made from said plastic recycled) bought. I happen to love this idea. So that’s how I got into my ocean side of eco products and being anti-plastic pollution. But I’ve always been into saving the planet since I was little. I remember doing the glass recycling when I was little (I loved to hear them smash. So ok, a little destructive in my recycling, but hey; I was little!). My step-father was a trade union official at the time of the miner’s strike. I remember going through all my clothes and toys to give to the miner’s children stuff I’d grown out of or didn’t want anymore. With a Teacher and a Trade-Union official in the same house in the 80s, you can imagine how much politics was talked about. I there was always a common theme about looking out for those less well off than you, looking out for other’s wellbeing and generally, in the esteemed terminology of Bill and Ted; being awesome to each other. That stuck (so did the term).
So over the years, as everyone else’s awareness has risen, so has mine. Fair trade; fantastic plan. Recycling bins for every household: a MUST. But to be fair it actually made recycling less hassle for us because we were doing it anyway. It just stopped us having to drive it places. Eco, ethical and sustainable products: amazing. I mean, who doesn’t like treading more lightly upon the planet?
Then there’s my personal passion cruelty-free; do we really need to test chemicals on animals subjecting them to pain, torture or even death just do you can look a bit prettier? I think the answer is no. Have you not seen the most recent research on the emotional intelligence of our fellow mammals? Dogs have the same emotional intelligence as children (not to mention their language recognition). Would you honestly torture a child by rubbing potentially harmful chemicals into their eyes or cutting their skin open to do similar? No. There are other ways of test reactions. Science has come a long way. All that shit can be done on a petri-dish and it’s more accurate too. There is no excuse to animal testing now, ever! So I do love to find great cruelty free cosmetics and products, and I love to share!
Simply, yoga is life. Not enough? Ok, I’ve been doing yoga for getting on for two decades. I started as a dancer to gain and maintain more flexibility, only it turned into much, much more. I discovered yoga is about way more than just placing your body into pretzel-like shapes. It’s a whole journey into being a better human being. Did you know the whole reason for the asanas (poses) is to prepare your body for pain-distraction free meditation? No, I totally didn’t either! It’s a philosophy for life, how to eat and way, way more. I’m on a voyage of discovery. I’ll take you too. I’m in the middle of fulfilling my dream to become a yoga teacher and it’s vast. <insert one small yogini looking wide-eyed at a huge cosmos of yoga>. I’ll try not to get too distracted on the way (easier said than done).
So humbly, I now have a blog for you all peruse, cogitate and capitalise on my many years of ‘Ooo, how does that work?’ or ‘how do I do that?’ or even ‘I really want one of these, but I want saving the planet to be my super-power too’…Enjoy!
Surfers Against Sewage: https://www.sas.org.uk/
Animal Emotional Intelligence:
Cruelty-free testing methods: https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/why-we-do-it/alternatives-animal-testing