Around about 13 years ago I joined a mixed touch football team at Albert Park with a bunch of work buddies, friends of friends and random expat ring-ins. While sporting two pairs of leggings, long footy socks over the top of the leggings, a sports bra, a long sleeve thermal top, a t-shirt and a beanie to play on a muddy pitch in total darkness in the middle of Melbourne winter, I somehow came to be on the same team as Lyndall Mitchell, founder of Aurora Spa Retreat. A very unlikely place to meet one of Australia’s serene day-spa industry pioneers.
She was warm, friendly and surprisingly fast and determined – growing up running around a banana farm in Queensland had served her touch footy career well. A fews year into our raggedy team, I found myself 12 weeks pregnant, on the sidelines and soon to be consumed by new parenthood. Pre Facebook, Lyndall and I parted ways and from a distance I continued to be in awe of the evolution of Aurora into a world class, award winning global leader of the luxury spa world.
Fast forward 11 years and Lyndall turns up to present a lunchtime Masterclass of Wellness where I was working. We eyed each other, joined the dots and hugged like crazy women. Aurora had expanded to two sites (The Prince in St Kilda and Versace Hotel on the Gold Coast), launched a line of at-home spa products, Aspar (now also used by Qantas First lounges) and Lyndall had just taken another leap to become an internationally accredited Life Coach.
Instead of hamstring stretches and post-game ales, we now swap our favourite business reads and sip chai tea. Lyndall is my coach (yes, coaches have coaches!) and has been instrumental in helping me take my leaps. A session with Lyndall brings clarity, relief (I’ve been heard! She understands!) and tools to keep me on my path. She is a constant source of support, calm, grace, wisdom and warmth and I feel blessed to have her in my life. The universe seemed to conspire to make sure that was possible.
The thing I perhaps love most about Lyndall’s work is that it shows it is possible to build a highly successful business on offering calm and loving kindness to fellow humans. Her work is grounded in caring for the wellbeing of people so they can thrive despite the pressures of modern living. But don’t underestimate her business prowess or fierce determination. You need to be able to take risks to seek investors, you need discipline to cultivate habits to protect your mental health and you need to do a lot of personal work to take responsibility for the quality of your life.
GIVEAWAY! Lyndall has offered a gorgeous Aspar spa rituals gift pack to one lucky reader who leaves their favourite self care tip in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you. xx
What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
When I was a child I never really thought about what I wanted to be, I was too busy chasing cows, picking avocados and riding my motorbike on the farm.
What did you study?
Life Coaching. I am incredibly curious to learn more about how to help my clients bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.
What were you doing before you made your leap?
My early beginnings were at the pioneer Australian Health Retreat, Camp Eden. I was an integral part of the management team, co-ordinating the optimum living program. I have stayed true living the lessons of that program ever since.
And those lessons work. I’ve been an entrepreneur and business owner for over 20 years I’ve done it without ever diving into burn out. I’ve found a way to grow my business, create my family and nurture precious personal relationships without ever compromising my physical, mental, spiritual or emotional health.
I believe that self care is essential for life success. In building my business (starting alone, to 100 staff, 4 spa locations, a training college partnership and a spa product line) my approach is always to bring care and calm to my work. This is experienced by our clients in our spas and taken home in their spa at home products.
Now I offer the opportunity to work with me one-on-one to help people get on the path to creating and living a life of purpose and balance, of focus and calm. My work as an Executive Wellbeing and Life Coach will helps people out of overwhelm and anxiety into a place of balance and peace of mind.
Who have been the biggest 3 – 5 influences in your life, in terms of your career and doing work?
Susan Harmsworth, she is an incredibly inspiring spa operator that seamlessly integrates wellness into her global spa operations.
Pema Chodron is always a wealth of wisdom to be inspired by.
My family have been a strong influence. My mum and dad are incredibly hard working, authentic people and taught me wonderful values to live my life by.
What did you have in place before you made the leap?
Nothing at all. Being 23 years old I was feeling pretty unstoppable. I moved to Melbourne and started Aurora as an urban retreat, so people could more easily access the benefits of a health retreat on a regular basis. Leaping to become a Life Coach happened when the business was in a stable place and I could pull myself out of some of the day-to-day operations to grow this new part of me. It’s still a juggle, but I’m clear on my purpose and this helps keeps us all moving forward.
What was your defining ‘I can’t do this anymore’ moment that lead you to the leap?
I was continuously seeing clients visiting retreat destinations and then not knowing how to integrate the amazing information they’d been given into the reality of their life. It wasn’t really one moment, it was a consistent message that clients would tell me they had trouble with.
How did you decide to choose courage?
I never allowed myself to think I would fail. I had no room for that thought in the process in order to create success.
What other leaps have you made in the past?
I moved away from my family to be in Melbourne after living in the same place all my life (Queensland).
How would you rate your level of happiness about making your leap? 1 being sad, 10 being rad.
It depends on what day you ask me, he he! Maybe 7-8.
What’s the biggest upside to making the leap?
Creating something you are truly passionate about and seeing how you can make a difference.
What’s the biggest downside to making the leap?
Probably the responsibility of it.
What might be your next leap?
What are your favourite words to live by?
Who do you admire that also made the leap?
A piece of advice for someone with an itch to leap?
Do your research and then trust your intuition. When you can’t make a decision, sit on it. Time will evolve to uncover the best way forward.
Check out Lyndall talking with Deborah Hutton about the Wheel of Balance here. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking at reining in overwhelm and focussing on prioritising the important parts of your life.
Love those words – authentic, engaged and focused. Strong and clear words that are perfect to keep in mind when taking your own leap! Have you decided when or what that might be yet?
And remember: GIVEAWAY! Lyndall has offered a gorgeous Aspar spa rituals gift pack to one lucky reader who leaves their favourite self care tip in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you. xx
We’d love you to join us in Melbourne for our Content Marketing and Social Media Workshop for Business coming up before the end of the financial year. Get your content marketing planned and your social media on track for a productive, effective and efficient (and fun!) 2015/16. Spend a day learning, planning, eating tasty treats and making friends with like-minded kin in real life (the best kind of social media there is).