Asja Svilans is committed to doing good in more ways than one and has much to share with the world. From her mouth watering wholefood based recipes to hosting empowering workshops for women of all socio economic backgrounds and sharing her wholehearted approach to life with gusto. Based in Brisbane, Asja has a gorgeous workshop and retail space that is definitely worth a visit if you're nearby.
Tell us a bit about The Grounded Way. When did you start your business and why?
The Grounded Way is an evolution of a previous wellness based retreat and workshop business based in North Queensland, The Wellness Collection - it was very pink and very active wear. The Grounded Way is the stripped back, conscious version of that flurry of fun - maybe it is its introverted, feet in the dirt, face to the sun, older sister? The Grounded Way is the way I can express some key part of who I am, what lights me up and how we can make real change and real impact in the world - from artisans to a ‘live and breath’ approach to humans supporting human. We run clean living workshops - from making tea blends to stamping and fermentation - as well as run a shop that stocks products by brilliant women, and products with a story. Definitely a living example of the circular economy rather than the linear single-use/disposable economy!
What was it about learning about and working with whole foods that really resonates with you?
Food is the ultimate connector, the ripple effect of what food is on your plate speaks volumes for the relationship you have with yourself, and your connection to your community and nature! It is the lowest common denominator for a return to the earth, and a return to self - energetically, and nutritionally…but let’s be honest, whole foods can only do so much and it is how and why you use and consume them within the landscape of your life that will create the real change.
Lately it has been made abundantly clear to me that I am quite ‘fadless’ when I come to food, and how much I care about our food systems, and true issues with access to good food across all socioeconomic levels of society - the role of food for nourishment, connection, celebration and community - and not for each ‘new thing’ that comes along. It absolutely has its place, it just isn’t my place, and quite frankly it exhausts me :)
Tell us a bit more about your philosophy around 'doing good'?
Oh gosh it is the cornerstone of how I would love to see a change in the world, it is the perfect salve for healing your own wounds and overcoming your own obstacles in life. It satisfies our need to be useful, it gives glorious perspective to think beyond ourselves, and an opportunity to show up for someone else, as much as to show up for our own ignorances and really really answer the question ‘What kind of world do we want to live in?’. Answering that question on a bigger visionary level, and then thinking small and bringing it to life is a game-changer. The beautiful quote “People power, cause indeed it is the only thing that ever has” is very fitting here.
How do you balance all the different elements of your business?
Honestly, it is driven from a pretty big vision, and it is only just cracking open, so I find that inherently inspiring, a body of work independent of me that I am privileged to try and get out into the world. I am in the midst of learning how much I depended on my health for the vitality to juggle the balls, and push the progress (gently of course) as things have had to slow to a snails pace to honour me so that I have the foundations in place to go forward. I think the majority of the struggle with purposefully slowing down is that I am so darn excited to keep moving - I am resolute that the bubbles of inspiration will be there when my body is at a happy equilibrium.
What does 'wholehearted living' mean to you?
Wholehearted means an honouring the pain as much as the joy, and the growth as much as the stillness. I don’t think it is a search for more and more and more whilst you are seeking what you perceive as ‘whole’ - you are already “it” and playing around with showing up for that more is where the everyday magic lies. The removal of barriers to be more of you more often, and all the delightful learnings and lesson it brings with it.
Why do you think people are feeling the need to simplify their lives?
Because it feels good, for the most part, or at least you know that the pursuit of simplification has really incredible pay-offs. We want time, we want presence and we want a better quality of living - simplifying how we do things does this. They are gifts that money can’t buy. It allows for careful curation of how you want your life to look and feel, for it to be a walking example of what you stand for and the kind of world you want to live amongst. Now, more that ever, the desire to do good that looks after this world in the most sustainable way is driving a different kind of change. From little things to big things we are in quite an amazing time of life!
Why do you think more and more people are looking to take charge of their own wellbeing?
Because self-care sits alongside wholehearted living, and the beauty of living simply. Being in charge, and full owning that space of being in charge of your health and well being, is powerful - the discipline that comes with it is the ultimate act of self-love, and when we start at that interface of ‘me and my health’ is signals the beginning of a beautiful, aligned and purposeful journey.
Why do you think connection is so important in today's society?/ What does connection mean to you?
Connection gives us a sense of being useful, a sense of purpose, and the meaning that weaves all of the other ‘things’ in life together. Connection and everything associated with it is the most gentle, and most considered, way forward. For me, connection is glue - for me, my relationships and the world.
What does the word 'sacred' mean to you?
Sacred to me means untouchable and defendable. It is something to be revered and fought for
What are some of your own favourite sacred daily rituals?
Sunshine and nature are definitely up there - upon waking (or when the sun comes up after waking), spending time sipping some water (with lemon, salt and cayenne) and watching the start of the day makes my heart happy. For me I find that scents and liquids are the key ways that sacred daily rituals are honoured in my day - from your beautiful mediation mist when it is time for me, or lemon and basil oils when it is time to work - I love using drinks and scents to ease the transitions in my day. I love slowing the transition from task to task.
What is your favourite Alyssum Alchemy product and why?
How can we find out more?
You can come and find me on my website at www.thegroundedway.com.au, or on instagram at @the.grounded.way - and say hi! Things will be changing for both of those platforms, just as soon as we get the health and energy sorted, right?!