The Leap Stories #36: Amy Crawford

If you ever have the good fortune to meet Amy Crawford in person one of the first things you will notice is her radiant skin – it glows at you to the point of distraction. And no matter how good your luminizer might be, Amy is proof that it’s never going to beat the beauty of skin fed consistently by green smoothies and nourishing whole foods.

But only a few years ago, Amy literally couldn’t get out of bed. She was working incredibly hard in a successful recruitment company she founded, but the hustle took its toll. After ongoing illness, she was finally diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and she acknowledged that the universe was telling her it was time to reconsider her ‘success’.

After moving back in with her parents to recover, Amy pivoted her life and career, and took the leap to become an integrated health coach, CTC practitioner, recipe book author and founded The Holistic Ingredient.

There are so many rich lessons in Amy’s story.  That a health crisis – your own or that of a loved one, can lead you to reevaluate your life (this was the case with leaper number 14  Neil Kenna too). That just because you made a leap, doesn’t mean it’s the right one forever. That your life is speaking to you and it’s your job to listen, or it will floor you. That retreating back to safety can help you gain momentum to leap again. That fear is just a thought. And you can change your thoughts. Infact, the most valuable lesson from Amy is that the most courageous leap you can make starts with choosing different thoughts.

That’s it.

Take the leap to choose different thoughts. That’s where leaps start. That’s where possibilities are born.

So can you dare yourself to imagine your life exactly as you’d like it? Can you imagine eating better, working better, living better, thinking better? Even just a fraction? Crack that door open.

GIVEAWAY To help spark some different thoughts about your life, Amy is giving away a bundle of three of her eBooks to three lucky readers! A Nourishing Kitchen, A Nourishing Morning and Nourishing Kids. Simply tell us one thought you’d like to change in 2016 in the comments below. Entries close midnight Friday 22 January 2016. xx

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Amy Crawford, Founder of The Holistic Ingredient

Amy Crawford, Founder of The Holistic Ingredient.

What did you want to be when you grew up and why?

Firstly I wanted to be a vet, until I realised I was rather terrified of blood and wasn’t sure how that’d work. As I got a bit older I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist (because I would be helping people in some way, sans blood), until I did a work placement and saw the uniforms the ladies were wearing …and wasn’t sure how that’d work either (I was a school girl, I was desperate to get out of uniform). Then I wanted to be a psychologist (because a career counselor told me I’d make a great one) but after commencing it at uni the stats saw me running a mile. So, basically, I really never had ANY idea what I wanted to do.

What did/do you study?

I started with a Psych Law Degree at Tasmania University and dropped both to finish with a double major in Sociology (simply because I did well in it and I wanted the paper at the time). Soon after I went to Sydney and completed a Graduate Diploma in Communication Management, to be accepted into a Masters in PR, but still didn’t know what I wanted to do (so said no).

Fast-forward 18 years and I became a Health Coach via the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Amy Crawford Quote1

What has been your most scary/courageous leap you’ve ever made (preferably in your business/career/life direction)?

The first was making the decision to shut down a highly successful recruitment company and walk away, just 3 days later; with absolutely no idea what I was going to do with my life.

The second was moving to Tasmania to live with my parents at the ripe old age of 39 (admittedly I had little choice, but more on that later). The final one was moving back to Melbourne one year later (only just capable of living on my own) with no job and almost no money, to face the prospect of transforming my life, alone.

What were you doing before you made your leap?

I worked in the recruitment industry in Australia and abroad for 18 years and owned a couple of firms during that time. In the most part I really enjoyed it, I loved the networking and relationship development. But I knew, deep down, even when I set up my last business that it just wasn’t enough, I wasn’t leaping out of bed every day. There was such fire inside me but I had no idea what to do with it. But quite significantly, I was terribly sick and had been getting steadily worse for many years. When I made the leap I had been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My health was so bad I couldn’t work, exercise, look after myself. So this was the catalyst for my first leap and what a monumental one it was.

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One of Amy’s seriously delicious and healthy recipes. Check out her other tempting creations here.

Who have been the biggest 3 – 5 influences in your life, in terms of your career and doing work?

The first was Roxanne Calder, a Director in the arm of a recruitment business I established. It was here that I honed a combination of skills and values that would set me up for establishing an online business – determination, tenacity, sheer hard work and focus, going above and beyond, doing the right thing by everyone I came across, exceeding expectations and learning to think long term, big picture.

The second was unquestionably my Dr, Dr Iggy Soosay. Not simply because he (painstakingly) got to the bottom of what was going on for me health wise, but because he set me on this wellness path – he taught me about the significance of eating to heal my body, eating as nature intended. This was to become a significant message in my business.

The third is Joanne Antoun, my Reiki Master and Founder of the CTC therapy I provide. Jo introduced me to energy healing, cleared me of everything that was holding me back from feeling amazing and trained me in the therapies I provide. If it wasn’t for Jo, one significant arm of my business wouldn’t exist and I’d have an entirely different mindset.

Amy Crawford Quote2

What did you have in place before you made the leap?

Absolutely nothing. I had a house deposit in the bank and that was that. I realised quickly that I couldn’t look after myself so moving to Tasmania (to get well) was the only thing left but I had NO idea what I would do if and when I got well. Actually, I guess what I did have was an incredible feeling that something amazing was going to happen; I had that from the moment of diagnosis. I knew I was sick for a reason, that the universe had finally found a way to make me stop, listen and change my life. What a blessing it was.

What was your defining ‘I can’t do this anymore’ moment that lead you to the leap?

My diagnosis. I had been so very sick for so long, there were SO many signs from the universe that I had to stop doing what I was doing (in many areas of my life) but I refused to listen, until I quite literally couldn’t get up again.

Amy Crawford Quote3

How did/do you overcome/work with the fear that comes with leaping? How do you decide to choose courage?

I learnt during my recovery that mindset is everything. Everything you think, say or feel becomes your reality. For example, I believed that if I had too much to do I’d get overwhelmed and I’d crash, off to bed for a week. I began to understand that unless I started thinking about what I DID want, instead of that which I didn’t, I’d never achieve what I wanted to – I’d never recover for a start! For instance, towards the end of my recovery I was doing very well yet I kept crashing, something was holding me back from full recovery. I realised that it was simply fear – the fear of never being free of illness, of never having a normal life, of never finding my passion. I didn’t feel good enough and consequently I feared failure. I literally walked free of ALL of this (including my illness) in one transformational 2 hour CTC session. That’s a true story.

I am, of course, still faced with decisions that require leaps of courage and could, if I allowed it, invite back in a lot of fear. But these days I understand that I am the power, I get to choose how I feel every minute of the day. Instead of fearing what I can’t do, aren’t I better off thinking about what I can do? Imagining my world exactly as I desire it? I feel it’s the most courageous decisions that lead us to the most incredible results and transformations.

How did you fund your leap?

I had a house deposit and two wonderful parents who supported me. Upon my return to Melbourne I worked in a gorgeous little pottery studio a couple of days a week to help cover costs until I got back on my feet.

Amy Crawford Quote4

What other leaps have you made in the past?

The day after my last uni exam in Tasmania I got on a plane and flew to Sydney with absolutely no idea what I’d do with my life. I was 22. It felt extraordinarily exciting. Within days I was working in a French Patisserie in Paddington earning $7.50/hour 6-7 days a week. I was living on a mattress on a floor.

I left my first recruitment job in a major firm after only 18 months to set up a business with 5 other relatively senior recruiters. I was 25. It felt very scary and I was the most junior in the group – but I felt so blessed to have been asked so I leapt with both feet!

Setting up my very own recruitment company in 2010 was certainly a leap. I was entirely alone. I had very little capital but I had many around me egging me on so I took the plunge.

Amy Crawford Quote5

What leaps didn’t work out? What did you do about it?

I wouldn’t say any of my leaps haven’t worked out – every leap happens for a reason and has taught me so much, put me on this very path. Some leaps have certainly been more successful, sure, but none failed.

What are you most fearful of? How do you deal with it?

I can’t think of anything really. I have done a lot of work on my mindset; I talk about this stuff every single day so it’s part of my make up now I guess. I am so very mindful of my thought patterns. I know fear is just going to hold me back so why invest time in it. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

Amy Crawford Quote6

How would you rate your level of happiness about making your leap?
1 being sad, 10 being rad.

Easy, 10! I get to do what I love, every single day of my life.

What’s the biggest upside to making the leap?

As above. I am living my purpose, doing what I love, working with people, and helping transform their lives. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Amy Crawford Quote7

What’s the biggest downside to making the leap? And how do you get through it?

I think the sheer costs of running a business, minus the capital to really leverage what I’ve built. I also really miss holiday pay. I guess too, that given my business is very much online, I remain connected much of the time. I ‘spose it’s just as well I love my job.

What might be your next leap?

Oh I think about this so often! My leap will be lifestyle related. I desperately want chooks in my backyard and a huge organic veggie patch. I am awaiting a sea or tree change leap. I just need a gentle nudge.

Amy Crawford Quote8

What are your favourite words to live by?

There are many, but one comes to mind first. When I was at school mum embroidered a gorgeous piece for my wall, for my 16th birthday. I think of it often, it’s from a poem written by Robert Herrick in the 17th century:

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, ole time is still a-flying, and this same flower that smiles today tomorrow will be dying”

It reminds me to live in the moment, to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way.

Who do you admire who also made the leap?

Right now I admire a relatively new friend who gave up city life to live on a tiny island with next to nothing. He lives off the smell of an oil rag, has turned his incredible creative abilities into environmental/sustainability/recycling work (using anything he finds on the island) and now inspires me with his ability to live so very simply. He believes that he has found contentment simply because he wants for nothing. He is undoubtedly fueling my craving for a sea/tree change.

Amy Crawford Quote10

A piece of advice for someone with an itch to leap?

Quit thinking about what you don’t want and focus only on what you do. Remember – everything you think, say or feel will become your reality. Hold a thought in your conscious mind for just 16 seconds and you can change the state of your unconscious mind and therefore whatever you attract to yourself. So, make that thought a positive one, let go of the need to know how it will all work out and simply have faith that it will.

Right now I’m:

Hearing: An acoustic playlist on Spotify
Eating: 90% dark chocolate
Drinking: A cup of tea
Reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Loving: My salt water swims!

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GIVEAWAY To help spark some different thoughts about your life, Amy is giving away a bundle of three of her eBooks to three lucky readers! A Nourishing KitchenA Nourishing Morning and Nourishing Kids. Simply tell us one thought you’d like to change in 2016 in the comments below. Entries close midnight Friday 22 January 2016. xx

Much love, Kylie x

p.s. Here’s a lovely little playlist on Spotify I’m loving right now.


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  1. I struggle daily with Fibromyalgia and CFS. My thought pattern I am changing by being more mindful is that I don’t need to do everything myself, I am still a valid member of my community even if I ask for help. Its really hard as a startup business to invest time/energy into Kids, Health, Husband and work all at the same time so somedays I have to put me and my health first and thats ok. So reading great stories like this one inspires me to keep going!!!

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    • We love that this story inspired you, there’s a little something for everyone in our leap stories Renee. You are doing a wonderful job, make sure you tell yourself that! Doing all that with good health is hard enough. You’re a champ xx

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  2. […] Amy Crawford – The Holistic Ingredient […]

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