Today’s Change Maker is the lovely Bree Hogan!
Bree + I first connected in the Bright Eyed + Blog Hearted group but quickly bonded over the fact we are both not only living with invisible illnesses, but coaching + running online businesses too. There is an unspoken understanding when you meet someone who just get’s it + that is especially important when you are rising above the story + going after your dream life despite it.
I am excited to be able to share her insights with you. Sit back, relax + enjoy this inspired ride. Please welcome the beautiful Bree Hogan…
What does living an inspired lifestyle mean to you?
Oooh, so many things spring to mind!:-
- Seizing opportunities that make me sing (not like literally sing, because I sound like a cut snake, but you get my drift!).
- Waking up in the morning and feeling truly excited by what the day may hold.
- Working in my calling, or, at the very least, working towards it.
- Living my creed. As the tagline on my website says, ‘Ignite your resilience. Celebrate your spirit.’
How do you create change in your life and/or business?
I do a lot of inner work and self-development. To some people this will sound a little bit wanky, but the greatest shifts, the times when I’ve had the most opportunity just seemingly ‘fall into my lap,’ has come about when I’ve been consciously working on my inner self and my growth mindset.
I recently read a really great book called ‘Be Brilliant Everyday,’ by Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker. This book has many pearls of wisdom in its pages, one of them being this belief: “A growth mind is more expansive. I’m summing it up mightily but something like, ‘Life looks like a great adventure, let’s give it a really good go.”
What challenges have you faced along the way? How have you, or are you overcoming them?
I often joke that my self-bestowed middle name shouldn’t be Starbrite, it should be Challenge!
My favourite quote, which can be found scribbled on numerous Post-It notes around the house, is: “You were born into this life because you are strong enough to live it.”
I was leveled by my own personal Mack Truck nearly 11 years ago when I became critically ill with an autoimmune condition called Guillain-Barrè Syndrome. Within 3 days of initial onset, I was lying in a bed in the hospital’s critical care unit, my body completely paralysed and systematically shutting down.
Over the years I’ve had to relearn and relive baby’s first milestones all over again, only this time as a young adult. Wheelchairs, walking sticks, pain medications and physical therapy become part of my new reality. I’ve been pushed to the brink of physical pain limits.
Chronic illness has brought me to my knees but it has also led me on an expedition of self-awareness and improvement, survival, love, and empowerment.
I didn’t lose my sense of self, my core, my inner spunk. I’ve just crutched and wheeled a different path. Bounced forward from adversity. I live a life that is all the more enriched because it didn’t play out according to some preconceived playbook I had when I was 5 years old.
When did you first know you were meant for something more and how did you take the leap?
There have been many hints, nudges and whispers throughout my life, course corrections and the like, but I think the real catalyst for change was when my husband and I moved to Perth nearly 4 years ago.
We didn’t have any family over here. The support network I had so heavily relied upon was thousands of kilometres away. You see, for years, I had been content to let my Mum (a retired nurse) do the research on new treatments and holistic therapies. Sure, I would be the good girl and dutifully implement whatever she recommended, but I wasn’t really taking ownership of my decisions.
That all changed with the move to Perth. I realised that I couldn’t continue to take a backseat in my own journey. I had to step up and take personal accountability. Move from passive to active. I had to be the driver of my own vehicle.
It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The doors to healing, to life, to opportunity, really started to open up.
Be the driver. Be accountable for you.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
It’s going to sound cliched, it’s going to sound a bit like the ‘standard’ beauty pageant answer, a la the Sandra Bullock flick ‘Miss Congeniality,’ but the first thought that pops into my head is ‘world peace.’ We really need it.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone who is ready for more, but holding back through fear of the unknown, what would it be?
I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s take on this, which you can read more about in her amazing book, Big Magic. Elizabeth says: “…my fear is the most boring thing about me…Fear is boring, because fear only ever has one thing to say to us, and that thing is: “STOP!”
Yes, in certain situations, a healthy dose of fear is warranted, is absolutely necessary, but for the most part, as Elizabeth so eloquently puts it, “Your fear must be kept in its place. (True emergencies only, please!). Your fear must not be allowed to make decisions about creativity, passion, inspiration, dreams.”
So take that first small step towards your dreams. Take it now. As Jordan Dansky said in his Huffington Post article ‘How to Live An Inspired Life,’: “You’ll never change the world if you don’t try – and that will never happen if you don’t take that first step.”
Is there a person or experience that inspired change in your life, if so who and/or what?
Living and learning to thrive with chronic illness. Not just bouncing back from adversity, but bouncing forward, a concept Shawn Achor talks about in great detail in his famed book ‘The Happiness Advantage.’
I love this quote from Drew Barrymore, as it really epitomises the perspective, and ultimate respect, that I gained for my body after illness: “My limbs work, so I’m not going to complain about the way my body is shaped.”
What are your top 3 ways to stay inspired?
- Spending time at the beach. It really helps to ground me and get me out of my own head.
- Reading. I’m transported to another world and I could stay there for hours!
- Change it up. Think scenery, location, activity, etc. I did it when I was writing up this interview. I wasn’t in the ‘creative flow’ and my responses were feeling forced. I jumped in the car to run a few errands and BAM! It was like a word dam burst. I had to quickly pull over so I could jot it all down, lest I forgot it all!
What is one thing people don’t know about you (it can be something fun, a fear, or something close to your heart – whatever you would like to share)?
I’m a tapping, aka EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) junkie! I started daily tapping as part of a 30-day challenge at the start of August and it’s become an integral part of my daily self-care regime. Oooooh, I can just see Hubby’s smirk and roll of the eyes when he reads this last paragraph. A few “Be less weird!” utterances will be echoing around my house later, for sure! *Giggles*
I’d love to hear what your biggest takeaways or inspirations were from Bree’s interview? Please share away in the comments below.
Bree Hogan is a certified holistic health coach and the founder of Starbrite Warrior [http://www.starbritewarrior.com/], an online resource and support community for women living with invisible illness who want to do more than just simply cope.
Through her unique mix of realism, positivity, humour and a whole lotta heart, Bree shares her personal, oftentimes confronting (no sugar-coating here!), insights and experiences to help women shine brite and live ah-mazing, possibility-fuelled lives in spite of chronic health-related limitations.
When she isn’t Starbrite-ing it up, Bree can be found doing wheelies around her Hubby in her mobility scooter; playing personal chef and butler to Master Horus (fur-baby); or indulging her love of all things mint and chocolatey.
You can connect with Bree through her website http://www.starbritewarrior.com
Instagram http://www.instagram.com/starbritewarrior/ and