PARDON OUR FRENCH , INSPIRATION
Interview: Arzu Özev
A discussion about "The Art of Living", happiness, expression of love and healthy recipes.
What is the “Art of Living” and how did you get interested in the area?
The Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) is a non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization operating in 152 countries. AOLF offers numerous highly effective educational and self-development programs and tools that facilitate the elimination of stress and foster deep and profound inner peace, happiness and well being for all individuals. In October 2003, I had to let go of something that was very dear to me. The pain of having to let go led me to experience a state of mind where I could clearly understand the dynamics of a more meaningful life. Following that experience, I started searching for a school where I could maintain that state and share this experience with other people. And that search brought me to the Art of Living. I have been volunteering for the foundation and teaching its courses for over 12 years now.
What is it exactly that you do?
I coach people deal with their negative emotions -be it fears, anxieties, anger, stress, etc.-, their limiting beliefs and help them build a healthy loving relationship with themselves. I coach them reach their goals, give important life decisions, learn how to manage their mind and create a life that they enjoy living. I also teach yoga, meditation and healthy cooking courses.
How would you define happiness?
An unshakable state of mind and ability to smile through challenging situations.
Being and feeling healthy consists of eating a balanced diet. Could you share one go-to recipe to make us feel better?
Here is my favorite Panini Recipe.
Homemade Cashew Pesto & Avocado Hummus & Emmental Panini
I’d pick a whole rye Panini bread for this recipe.
Homemade Cashew Pesto
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup parsley
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
100gr cashew nuts
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor
½ cup arugula
1/3-cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic (optional)
¼ teaspoon pepper
2-tablespoon olive oil
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor
P.S.: Nourishing your mind and soul are as essential in order to feel completely healthy!
Healthy living has currently become very popular. Do you see it as a trend or are people more conscious?
It’s good that it’s a trend. It’s a healthy trend. Healthy eating is a conscious movement. What we eat matters because it affects our psychology also. A lot of people feel depressed today. One of the main reasons for depression is the quality of the food that we consume. So it’s good that more and more people start eating healthy.
What does it feel like to work in an area you are extremely passionate about?
What I actually do is to teach myself how to live a happy and healthy life, how to handle my own mind. My passion is to become a better version of me every single day, free from negativity and inhibitions. They didn’t teach me that at school. I believe that this needs to be taught in every school, in every institution. I see myself as a student in life. I am constantly learning how to deal with my own mind, my own thoughts and emotions. In the process, I help people be the best version of themselves and break through their limitations. So I can’t call it work. It’s a genuine process of sharing what I have uncovered through coaching, yoga and meditation. It’s a gift that I can make a living out of it!
What areas of work or personal development are you hoping to explore in the near future?
How does a typical day go for you?
Wake up at 6 or 7am: Have some raw honey with lemon juice, drink half liter of water, practice yoga for half an hour to 1 hour, do breathing and meditation, fill my heart with gratitude. Set my intentions for the day.
Daytime: Coaching sessions, read, write my articles, and make sure that I learn at least one new thing
Evening: Go for a 45-minute walk by the water. Prepare a healthy dinner, meditate.
Night: Watch a movie, teach yoga classes or meet friends.
What is your motto?
Love. Live. Laugh. Inspire. And be smart.
Your work inspires many people. Who inspires you?
A lot of people actually. It depends. Sometimes people on the streets, some other times a character in a movie. But primarily my teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, my husband, my students and the loving child within me.
We live in the age of Internet. Which websites, Instagram accounts or blogs do you follow to keep up?
MindBodyGreen, Yogi Times, Yoga Journal, Marie Forleo, Collective Evolution, The Mind Unleashed.
Which songs are currently on replay in your studio?
“Inaudible Melodies” by Jack Johnson
“Shiver and Shake” by Katie Melua
“Happier Than Me” by my brother Ata Özev
What was the last thing that fascinated you?
Right this moment. Seriously!
What was the best piece of advice you got?
“Love yourself. You are good enough just the way you are.” I believe that the restlessness in the world stems from the lack of genuine experience and expression of love. And the best place to start is within.
What are the five things you could never live without?
My breath!I believe that we, as humans can adapt to any situation. But the quality would suffer unless I have my yoga practice, my meditation, nature, my joyful state of mind and my husband.