Spotlight: Self Love Sessions with Gracie Balev
WARNING: This interview could change your life 🤩😍
At a time when I was in desperate need of some self love, wellness expert and motivational speaker Gracie Balev magically appeared in my life. I’ve been #fangirling on Gracie ever since, eagerly awaiting every post and insta story that she shares. Partly because I didn’t think ANYONE could love nature as much as me, and partly because her delicious smile can brighten even the darkest of days!
Gracie is incredibly passionate about self love and she wants everyone to know that, by connecting to it, we all are powerful beyond measure. Self love saved Gracie’s life and it can completely change yours too.
It sounds like a miracle, because it is. Self-Love saved my life.
1. What words do you live by?
“Everything is Perfect” wraps up my entire life philosophy; it affirms that all our experiences are educational, and custom designed by the Universe to serve and support our highest growth. When I find myself attaching to an external outcome or wishing for things to be different than what they are, I recite these words and they carry me peacefully home to surrender, acceptance, and deep gratitude.
2. We are so inspired by your passion for self-love - where did this passion come from?
I am so passionate about self-love today because it quite literally saved my life. Just 4 years ago, I was struggling with multiple eating disorders, PTSD, depression, generalised anxiety, chronic fatigue, Systemic Lupus and Fibromyalgia. A couple of years later, I became so unwell that I suffered a stroke and almost died. I am completely certain that it was an utter lack of self-love that caused me to devalue my life to such an extent that I physically put it in such grave danger. The stroke was an indication that my disease had progressed to Cerebral Lupus and I was told by doctors I’d need to take an array of heavy medications including a couple of chemotherapy drugs for the rest of my life, if I wanted to avoid another stroke and potential death. My body rejected the mild drugs and I knew this was the Universe redirecting me. I chose to listen to my intuition which was guiding me to address the ROOT CAUSE of my lifetime of suffering. This root cause was fear. And the antidote? Self-Love.
I committed to loving myself little by little, day by day, in Mind, Body and Spirit, and slowly but surely healed myself.
It sounds like a miracle, because it is. Self-Love saved my life.
3. Can you share more about the struggle with lupus and how you’ve become the wonderful positive soul you are today?
I was diagnosed with Lupus just before Christmas in 2014. It’s essentially an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s healthy tissue and organs through processes of systemic inflammation. As an acquired illness, there are various lifestyle factors that contribute to its development when there is a genetic predisposition present. For me, a lifetime of self-abuse, particularly from eating disorders, and toxic amounts of stress in various forms, like the PTSD I developed from physical and sexual abuse, were the major contributing factors. Fear manifests differently for all of us. For me, it reached its pinnacle and presented as Lupus, the result of many other conditions.
I spent most of my young life unwell with no real explanation from doctors aside from being “chronically fatigued”. I was finally too sick to carry on with day-to-day living by 2014 that I moved in with family and devoted several months to seeing specialists and seeking answers. Being diagnosed was a tremendous relief for me – it meant I finally had some sort of direction. Of course, things had to get a whole lot worse and I needed to have a near-death experience to appreciate how I might genuinely heal myself from the inside out and truly move forward, but I am SO grateful for the entire experience. It gifted me the opportunity to clear and heal the toxicity I had been harbouring all my life. To me, it’s not just the passage from illness to wellness, it’s a full-scope journey from living in the energy of fear to living in the energy of love.
Despite having this disease for the rest of this lifetime, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. And I know that I will only keep thriving. This positive outlook that has pushed me ever forward is something I adopted as my most powerful coping mechanism from an early age, in the experience of some traumas in childhood.
Adversity has taught me that even when darkness falls, we can always seek light and BE light, from within. We illuminate the path so we may take steps forward only when we have the courage to shine.
4. What are your top tips for having a deep loving relationship with yourself?
As a mentor, life coach and intuitive healer, I teach that there are three major steps to living in genuine Self-Love:
Release the Fear
Honour the Space
Welcome the Love
This process speaks to the necessity of clearing what crowds and blocks our energy, before we can have the capacity to truly hold a positive love vibration in the long-term. For the many clients I work with who come to me frustrated that they are trying hard to do all the right things like yoga, juicing and meditation, but they still don’t quite love themselves, I will always guide them to first honouring what needs to be healed. We need to let go of fear in order to have our hands and arms free to embrace Self and embrace Love.
5. Tell us more about the holistic message you’re sharing.
My mentoring, coaching and healing practice centres around the philosophy that our sense of wholeness requires a holistic approach to life that honours every part of Self – Mind, Body and Spirit. I know from my personal healing experience, and now from extensive professional experience, that it is when we nurture every part of ourselves that we can truly access our highest health, healing and happiness.
6. Do you have a morning routine or daily wellness habits?
I like to stay as flexible as possible with self-care and self-love but do have a handful of daily wellness non-negotiables. These include; at least 10 minutes of meditation, matcha tea in the morning, at least two litres of water, 7 hours of sleep, some form of movement, journalling and nutrient-dense food. I feel health and happy so long as I can work these practices into my day because they nurture each of my aspects – Mind, Body and Spirit.
7. Mental Health awareness is something we’re very passionate about at CSK. How do you think we can help more people who are suffering?
In my experience, storytelling is incredibly healing, for everyone. Every time I stand on a stage with microphone in hand and spill my guts to a room full of strangers, I heal my own wounds even more deeply, and encourage others to heal their own. Truth honours truth and inspires a ripple effect of sharing and healing.
The main message is that no one is truly alone, and everyone is deserving of support. We realise and feel this as soon as we have the courage to speak up and share what is true for us.
We are all human. We all struggle sometimes. And we can all heal in sharing our truth.
So, quite simply: We can help by sharing. We can help by listening.
8. What’s a typical day in the life of Gracie?
What I do is quite varied – I’m a mentor & coach, healer, writer and speaker, so the old cliché of no two days being the same applies with me! However, a standard day might look like me starting off with my morning routine of meditation, journalling, a nature walk and yoga, followed by a little admin and creative work and, of course, a schedule of 1-on-1 client sessions that take me into the evening. That would be the standard formula, but it’s often mixed in with meetings and events and client home healing sessions, all of which get me on the road! All that said, a typical day in my life is absolutely punctuated by deep gratitude that I’m able to do this incredible work.
9. Who or what inspires you?
My clients and my work honestly inspire me to no end! Witnessing and guiding another person’s evolution is truly mind-blowing, heart-filling and soul-affirming all at once. It’s the full-body chill breakthrough moments, only possible through their willingness and dedication, that have me addicted to this work and always seeking to improve my own health, healing and happiness so I can better facilitate it for them!
10. At CSK, we're all about finding ways to live the happiest life possible. What is happiness to you?
Happiness to me is about alignment – living in an integrous way that honours my Mind, Body and Spirit so that every part of me hums in harmony with the other. I believe that external conditions reflect internal conditions. When all of me is internally in sync, life is externally in sync, and I am genuinely, profoundly happy and fulfilled.
11. What's next for you and your mission?
I cannot wait for my Self Love Sessions holistic self-love workshop experience this Sunday 21st October! You can get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/self-love-sessions-holistic-self-love-workshop-experience-tickets-51385589682
I’m also excited to be launching Self Love Sessions Digital – a six-week online holistic self-love group mentoring programme based on the live workshop – in November.
In the not-too-distant future, I also plan to take the live Self Love Sessions workshop on tour, to ensure this message of holistic healing, health and happiness reaches as many hearts as possible.
You can connect with Gracie at:
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