June 2008 ‘Joy’
It’s the Little Things …
Being a natural optimist I was still surprised at what I came up with when I had a think about the sources of joy in my life – breathing in the scent of my son; throwing sticks for my dog on the beach; reading an inspiring book; coming home after a good run; diving into a deep, clear river – these are all small events, yet they culminate in a happier me. I also realised that one other feeling seems to be intricately linked to joy, and it’s gratitude. While ‘gratitude’ is a whole other subject for HAPPYZINE, this month I’m not the only one talking about joy. Anika Moa graces the pages of HAPPYZINE and talks about the parts of her life that most inspire happiness for her; business mentor Anthony Marsh talks about ‘joy’ within a business context and sets us our monthly task; Shanti Burgess, owner of the organic herbal tea empire ‘Divine Herbals’ chats about the integrity of her teas, tells us we can make a difference environmentally ‘one cup of tea at a time’ and discusses where joy and running a business meet up; and Chris Young – lead singer of the Christchurch band The Insurgents – and this month’s ‘Wild Youth’ tells us where he’s at and shares his take on making the most of being officially young.
This month’s the grand launch of HAPPYZINE and so I’m sending out a huge welcome to those who have just joined us. I truly believe that what we choose to think about and focus on, makes a huge difference to the way we experience life, so congratulations, your life’s about to get even better!
Here in New Zealand we have loads to feel joyful about, most of us breath in clean, sweet air; the Pacific Ocean calls invitingly; most of us can sleep soundly each night knowing we’re safe, and thanks to our relatively small population one person really can make a difference if they feel passionate enough about an issue.
Here’s to ‘joy’ and all reasons we’re blessed. I’m sure that every single one of us have reasons to feel joyful, if we look we look close enough.
|Inspiring Kiwi – In Swings Anika|
Birds do it. Whales do it. Most humans seem to do it at least once in their lifetime and Anika Moa is no exception. She’s up and moved locations. In fact she’s migrated to Melbourne. She’s gone and reversed her big fish in a small pond status; leaving the land of the long white cloud to live in a big city where she and her new close friends have yet to discover each other and the music scene has yet to realise how lucky they are.
Whilst fending off her eager new flat mate in the ‘burbs of Melbourne (hey, who can blame the guy?) Anika was kind enough to share some insight into the aspects of her life that keep her afloat during the hard times and on a good day, fill her up with good ‘ole fashioned joy.
Since her sharp ascent to international stardom as a budding eighteen year old, award winning singer/songwriter Anika Moa has travelled far – inside and out. Her heart tugging, truthful songs tell it all – of her love for her mother, getting to know her father, relationship break-ups, her dreams and more.
So why does Melbourne get our Anika?
“Melbourne has a really good music scene. Actually, I compare it to Christchurch quite a lot. It’s beautiful. I like the city, I like the people. It’s really multicultural.”
Regardless of where she lives, there are two things Anika loves to do:
“The bestest thing I like to do is to write songs and the second best thing I like to do is to perform them. At the moment I like walking (I lead a boring life) and, I like hanging out with my friends and jamming.
“When I was living in Auckland I used to live in a musical flat and when ever anyone used to get home we’d end up outside drinking and playing the guitar and hanging out and talking. Someone would make a massive feed and we’d all just eat and we had a band room as well.”
Another thing that piques Anika’s joy gland is family parties.
“I’m really looking forward to my Mum’s fiftieth birthday party because it’s the whole family and they’re all really interesting because I’m from Christchurch and there are quite a lot of raucous family members. We hang out and yell at each other and beat each other up and call each other names. The last time I was in Christchurch my Mum got really drunk and she and my sister tried to throw me in the pool which was really hard because I’m twice as big as them.”
Anika says she loves coming home to New Zealand.
“I most love the Maori culture and the music is just phenomenal. The people are just amazing – for four million people we’ve got quite a good bunch.
Her advice for aspiring musicians:
“Practice heaps. And don’t fool yourself and be really, really real and be as honest with yourself as you can and be humble. Go to lots of shows and be around musical people. Surround yourself with musicians and surround yourself with good vibes.”
So ten years on from her debut as a solo artist how does life feel?
“Ten years down the line I’m at the perfect stage in my life. I’m at this stage where every things good, every things ok. I can create what I want for the rest of my life. I feel more happy and secure and I love it.
Hopefully, she’ll write a song about it.
|Puls’n Planet – Shanti Burgess|
Shanti Burgess runs her organic herbal tea company along one clear principle – if it aint good for the planet, she aint interested.
This grounded, clear minded personality can also be found pressing points on people’s feet, recommending herbal remedies and gazing deeply into people’s eyes in her clinic in Takaka, Golden Bay . Here she runs Divine Herbals and is a practicing Herbalist, Reflexologist and Iridologist.
I asked Shanti why she created Divine Herbals.
“I was inspired to set it up because I was trying to think of a way that people could become more healthy because I was thinking that the more healthy we are internally within ourselves, the more that will be reflected out into society. Hence my motto – ‘heal ourselves, heal the planet’. It usually starts small – start local, start with yourself and that helps the whole world out – one cup of tea at a time!”
There’s a lot to setting up a successful business, what motivates her to keep going?
“I love mixing and blending and picking and drying. I love working with the plants really and I love getting the great feedback from people.
“Like the immune booster for example, someone said ‘Oh I thought I was getting a cold and I just drank heaps of Be Well tea and it [the cold] didn’t come on. I love hearing that! I was at a market recently and this woman approached me; she’d done an Iron Woman race, and she’d bought some Wise Woman [tea] off me the year before. Wise woman is this iron rich nutrient tea, which I designed for pregnancy, but you can use it in this way too. She was totally wiped out afterwards and couldn’t really eat anything after and she just drank Wise Woman tea and it totally revived her. She bought heaps more! I love getting that kind of feedback.”
So moving onto our theme of the month, I asked Shanti where ‘joy’ and running a business meet.
“It’s always tricky setting up a business, there are challenges. Pick the most joyful aspects of business and do them and what ever you don’t enjoy so much try to delegate it out a bit so that your partners can pick what they love and do it. Joy comes from mental attitude really and from seeing the bigger picture. Not every moment is always joyful but if you see the bigger picture and when you get that great feedback, that helps and you stay happy. I guess focussing on those moments keeps you going through those more mundane and challenging moments. I think to myself: ‘I’ve helped those people!’ And I like doing fun things with the teas like getting out there and talking to people giving out free stuff samples.”
Divine Herbal teas are currently available through the Top of the South Island in Organic Shops and cafes.
“I want to keep it fairly small within New Zealand . I like them to be smaller, handcrafted batches, it keeps the freshness and the efficacy of the herbs.”
And she certainly is one example of a healthy person, doing her bit to create a healthy planet.
|Wild Youth – Chris Young|
Nineteen year old Chris Youth is in love … with music. He shares some wise words on how to stay happy when you’re young and reaching for your goals.
What makes you happy?
Music mainly. It’s the main thing that makes me happy that’s for sure. Relationships with others, friends, just those day-to-day things that put a smile on your face I guess – like the sun shining and someone else smiling at you, that sort of thing always helps.
Who or what do you consider to be special in your life?
Music. People. The people around you are what define you as a person I think.
Who or what helps you get through the hard times and how?
I find that again with music – writing music and playing music is kind of a release. It’s a way that you can express yourself without words. I once read a quote saying ‘when there’s no words left to express yourself there’s only music’ or something along those lines and I think that definitely music is always a big help. And again friends or family, even if they can empathise with the situation, it’s good to have the support around me.
What do you dream of and what steps have you taken towards your dreams?
I dream of being able to make music ‘what I do’ so that I don’t have to have a day job. Me and David (Chris’s best friend) have been playing music for years and years and that’s going to continue. We’ve been writing lots of songs and playing and we’ve just got so much experience along the way. We’re going over to Europe very soon and for a start just going around to see the place. I’m playing guitar for a band, because their guitarist can’t go.
Your message to other youth?
Just enjoy it. Don’t take things too personally. I find that that’s a tendency for young people. When something bad happens to them they take it really personally and dwell on it and see it as a reason to feel sorry for themselves when in actual fact you can see it as an excuse to motivate yourself, you know? I think that that’s a very important thing to remember. Also, find something that your passionate about and go for it. Work at it.
You’re only young once and it’s a good time. If you play your cards right, you don’t have to be the best looking, most intelligent or to really have anything going for you, but if you know how to have a good time, you know, it’s going to be the best time of your life isn’t it?