Our first Inspirational Soul is Christine D., founder of Good Guerrilla from New Zealand. In this interview she shares with us her mental health story, mindful walking and the incredible efforts she is contributing to wellness and mental health awareness.
Tell us about yourself.
Though it is not the story that defines me in totality, my struggles and eventual recovery from anorexia nervosa has had a great impact on my life. I’ve been in remission now for three years after being one of the very few fortunate people to receive free treatment through our national public health system. Fully recovered is a descriptor I can use now with a good degree of confidence, something which I didn’t think was ever possible.
How are you feeling today?
Pretty average. I’ve been travelling for work a fair bit recently, and the shine wears off after a while. I have slowly learned that it is okay to feel “average”. Most of our lives, we feel “average”, going through the motions. I’ve come to realise that whilst it may be an exciting event or groundbreaking revelation that sparks a new journey, it is in fact the hard grind and daily discipline that brings that vision to life. I used to hate feeling anything less than amazing. I thought every day needed to be sparkly. Now, I embrace “average” a lot more because I know it is a rite of passage to actually attaining results.
Explain Good Guerrilla to our readers.
Love to. Good Guerrilla (or GG as we like to call it) is a monthly wellness kit delivered to your doorstep to help you live a life with more joy, more connection and better health, both physical and mental. Our GG Wellness Kits are filled with products and tools sourced right here in pristine, clean New Zealand that are assessed by us and other peers for their self-care properties. We also provide themed knowledge packs filled with true stories, interviews, expert contributions, easy-to-follow recipes, workouts etc. This means you don’t just get a box full of nice stuff. You get a box full of life-boosting products AND knowledge. In this way, GG Wellness Kits are not your average subscription box service because we take the time and the extreme care to curate our exclusive content for our subscribers.
What are the core beliefs behind Good Guerrilla?
GG is a social enterprise. This means that a portion of the Wellness Kit sales goes straight into making a social impact. We aim to deliver accessible treatment options to those affected by eating disorders or disordered eating. Our belief is that everyone deserves care, regardless of their circumstances. We believe in equality, we believe in harnessing the power of peer knowledge to help others get through the dark days. We also believe deeply, deeply in the power of self-care, connection with your community and connection with Mother Nature. These beliefs are all reflected in our kits.
How do you practice self-care?
Great question! For me, self-care is more than just pampering (though pampering yourself once a blue moon is very important). Self-care is knowing when your thoughts are turning you away from the person you would ultimately like to be. So for me, the first step in any self-care action is to pause and reflect. Then, if I am indeed out of kilter, I put on a good pair of walking shoes and head out for a walk, with no phone (but letting someone know I am heading out first!). No distractions. Just me and the smell of the sea, the pine and that sticky summer air.
How do you define “Recovery”?
It means letting go of the person you once were, both the parts you liked immensely and didn’t like so much. You are building your identity back up, getting knocked around a few times, trying on different hats for size and realising that maybe you don’t suit any of them. It means making the decision to let go, a million times over, with that decision being easier to stick with each time. Recovery means messing up, a lot, and being at peace with life being messy. Sometimes, recovery might even mean accepting you are not yet recovered.
Who is your inspiration?
Driven women. I haven’t had the fortune of having too many male figures in my life, so I do find a connection with women as inspirational figures more easily than I do with men. Brene Brown and Oprah have inspired me immensely. I have never looked at the concept of vulnerability quite the same way again. Young, driven business women like Eleanor Pendleton inspire me. And of course, my husband inspires me. He is the most balanced, calm individual I know. However, I don’t aspire to be any of them. I have had huge issues with envy and imitation in my past, something I am trying to move forward from. Now, I acknowledge my figures of inspiration for specific points of admiration, and bring these into my own life, instead of replicating their existences.
What is your mantra?
I have several but this is one of my favourites: “How you do anything, is how you do everything”. I think that it is a universal truth. And of course, many passages from the Bible serve as my guiding light in this messy, noisy world.
What is next on the horizon for you?
Launching GG Wellness Kits. We have been hard at work building our social media presence and getting our name out there in the target communities, and have been pleasantly surprised with the level of engagement on Instagram and offline. Many people are eager to see the kits launch, so we will be focusing on meeting and exceeding their expectations! After launch, we will just continue to roll out value driven content for our audience and make sure they are as loved by us as possible. Exciting things are happening in this corner of the world, that’s for sure!
If you believe in GGs vision of building accessible treatment facilities, that everyone deserves care regardless of their circumstances and you are into wellness – join their mailing list for exclusive offers and wellness info. Follow on instagram @good.guerrilla.