Megan Douglas walks a fine line. Running World Organic, a business dedicated to natural health and beauty, she knows the importance of a balanced lifestyle.
However, as any business owner knows, particularly one working from home, it takes dedicated effort to maintain that balance. The ex-fashion designer is the driving force behind World Organic and sister brands River Veda and The Organic Skin Co - organic, ethically sourced makeup and skincare ranges that are tried and tested Viva favourites.
Here, she shares with us how spiritual books, regular yoga practice and a focus on healthy food shared with family and friends keeps her going.
Describe your life right now?
Full and exciting. It is definitely a time of "busyness" as a result of the speed at which our business is growing. Being an integral part of a relatively new business that is firing on all cylinders sometimes feels like being responsible for a room of 50 incredibly active 4-year-olds at a birthday party and having to have attention on all corners of the room.
My own family is also growing up fast. With two children (now teenagers) and the eldest getting closer to flying the roost, I realise how precious time is, so family is totally my other focus.
What keeps you inspired?
Simple things and the unexpected keep me inspired. When we hear back from a World Organic consultant as to how we have touched or helped to change their life for the positive, I feel inspired. Simply seeing the original vision unfold and becoming a successful reality inspires me daily, not to mention family, friends and colleagues who I share experiences with. If one of us falls for a while, someone is always there to pick the other up.
If you start to feel low in energy what do you do?
If I'm low in energy I'll go to bed embarrasingly early as I love sleep and find it simply the best cure for almost all ailments including negativity, self absorption or disappointment. That feeling of sustained low energy can often be the precursor to feeling sick so I always try to take it a little seriously and treat it with the best medicine, rest.
What do you do to switch off?
I find solitude and being away from all technology helps recharge the nervous system and helps balance a busy, technology-driven life. Quietness helps me put things back into perspective. My bedroom is probably my sanctuary for this, where I'll generally read something from one of my favourite books or simply contemplate my navel (so to speak) and explore whether it actually exists at all. In summer I love a walk in nature but in winter I'd rather be in front of the fire.
How do you incorporate exercise and recreation into your life?
For the last five months I have been going to a gym/club where they have some amazing quality yoga and pilates classes. Restorative yoga, however, is always my favourite because being quite driven I do enjoy someone reminding me to stop and restore. I also love the sauna as a necessary detox. Sometimes it's difficult to find the time to go as there is always a ready reason to work longer or harder at my desk but I try to go two or three times a week. As for recreation, it tends to be something simple with friends and family, often based around a home-cooked meal and wine.
What are you reading at the moment?
I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. It's a modern spiritual classic, which has been my go-to book for over a year now. When I read it I find I can only digest pieces of it at a time and each time I come back into it I find something new to ponder. I find it amazing, it's pretty unique in its clarity and courage and contains many a contemplative thought. I've also just read Practising the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, who I would rate as a modern-day prophet, concise and radiant.
How do you incorporate healthy eating into a busy life?
Healthy eating for me is a matter of good habits and recipes that I have learnt over time, so they have become a pleasure and much preferable over unhealthy foods. I start almost every day with a dish of slow cooked, fabulously tasty flax seeds, nuts, seeds, tapioca and dried fruit spices infused in citrus juice. This keeps my digestion and joints in shape and hunger satisfied.
My sister-in-law Lisette then brings to work a freshly made vegetable Oscar juice. As we work from home, either Richard or I then cook a proper lunch for the whole work tribe and as a result dinner is often quite light.
Ultimately, I find the key to good eating is to use only real, whole and nutritious ingredients (that your great-grandparents would most likely recognise), eat what suits you (we'll learn even more about this with the coming explosion of genome mapping) and prepare the food with joy and creativity so that it's not only healthy but delicious, too.
What are your top five essentials to living life well?
1. Let it go! There's no point obsessing over things you can't control (which is actually a lot).
2. The mind is an incredibly powerful instrument of creativity, so train it to think powerful and positive thoughts and to get rid of negative and limiting thoughts.
3. Feed your body well with good, honest, natural food and products and minimise toxins and chemicals.
4. It's so much better and rewarding to be grateful, tolerant and honest than to be the opposite.
5. Be courageous, as it's likely to be the only way to live the dream life you want to live. Everything is possible.