Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Merja Willock. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty…
Merja Willock is a holistic health coach and creative soul, who loves inspiring details and playing the piano.
Merja is the founder of Glowing Balance, a site for everyday inspiration, inner balance, healthy recipes and wellness tidbits. Her goal is to empower others to discover their strength and creativity within.
Who do you feel you are today? What event has defined your life?
Most of all, I feel that I'm a restless and questioning soul in constant motion and learning process on an ever changing journey of loving music, art, dancing, green juices and all beautiful and esthetic things. What has defined my life this far? Well, everything I would say. People who I have met. Places where I have been. Books that I have read and movies that I have seen. Music that I have listened to. Beliefs that I have had and then given up. All the joy and sorrow that has captured moments in my life. Foods that I have eaten. Conversations with people who I don't know. Frustrations and challenges, and most of all, the willingness to learn, grow, change and shift my perception.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
People who courageously follow their passion, and fire in their hearts no matter what obstacles they have to overcome. People who trust their intuition and question traditional beliefs.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Not valuing myself for who I am, always trying to be someone else, and comparing myself to other people. Wanting to be something more, something better, and increase my value based on my external achievements, job, clothes and appearance instead of turning inward and appreciating and loving myself just the way I am, while trusting myself and life. I still struggle with this, but I have started to believe that I'm just where I need to be at this given moment. I have started to listen to my intuition, and believe in my own capabilities. That's work that you need to do everyday.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Steve Job's quote from his Stanford speech, “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
Where and when do you feel most at peace?
When I'm connected with the present moment and am aligned in my soul and environment. It is possible to achieve basically anywhere. They are the moments when time feels like it is standing still. Being immersed in music, watching the starts on a hot summer night, people watching while sitting at
a café, paying attention to small details that no-one else seems to notice, when drawing, or in nature.
What does beauty mean to you?
For me it means overall well-being. It includes a nourishing diet and thoughts, self-acceptance, our interaction with other people, and a spark of joy for living. When you are comfortable in your own skin, and treat others like you would want to be treated, it shines through as inner and outer beauty.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Dancing, yoga, good sleep, accepting myself without comparison, and doing things that I love.
What’s your favorite beauty secret or tip?
Great skin comes from inside, so a healthy diet with lots of raw food and vegetable juices is important. Having the information to make healthy choices, and use all natural and organic products. One of my favorites is rhassoul clay. I use it as a shower gel, face cleaner and sometimes as a shampoo.
What do you do when you want to pamper yourself?
I light candles, and read or listen to audiobooks, guided relaxations or great music. I also take time to relax and go for a restorative yoga class.
How does Annmarie's mission fit into your lifestyle?
I believe that empowering others with information helps people to take action, and make better choices on how to choose cosmetics that they put on their skin. Annmarie is doing a great job, and I also wish to be a good role model and in that way inspire others to make healthier choices.
What are your words of wisdom to other beauties out there?
Find what works for you, question everything, empower yourself by learning, never stop believing, be grateful and appreciate even the smallest things. Love, be your authentic and unique self, dream big and shine your light to inspire other people all around you.
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at info [at] annmariegianni.com)