We talk to Arnhem dream girl and one of our long time loves, Helen Janneson Bense, formerly known as @gypsylovinlight, about the experience of rediscovering your passions and cultivating self-love following post-natal depression. This beautiful mermaid has forever inspired us with her sense of wanderlust, bohemian style and passion for living life authentically.
Read the interview with this mumma of two, wife, biomedical naturopath, influencer, earth lover and peaceful soul ✨
HELEN, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF.
HELEN, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF.
Hey guys, I’m a sunset loving, ocean obsessed, plant based, animal and earth lover mama of 2 beautiful children. I’ve spent 44 eventful years on this beautiful planet and sometimes I feel like I’ve lived many lifetimes already. I’ve been married to an incredible man, Bobby, for almost 13 years who I’m deeply, passionately in love with and grateful for every single day. We still pinch ourselves that we have somehow ended up living in WA, right by the beach, which was always our dream.
WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM, BUT WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Right now, it’s summer holidays so it’s waking up early and heading to the beach for a stand-up paddle with the kids. I usually work mid-morning to afternoon (emails, editing photos, writing) and spend a decent amount of my day prepping food and driving the kids to see their friends. We try and eat dinner early so we can head to the beach for a sunset swim. We don’t own a TV so evening time is either playing board games, having long chats, night-time bike rides, dinner with friends, playing music or a movie on Netflix.
AFTER HAVING YOUR TWO CHILDREN YOU EMBARKED ON A JOURNEY TO REDISCOVER YOUR PASSIONS; PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THIS.
I didn’t realise just how much motherhood would change me. After my second child and a very difficult threatened pregnancy, I started to fall apart at the seams. I was experiencing post-natal depression and as I began to explore it, at the roots I realised so much about myself. I felt unworthy, not enough, and that I was failing as a mother as I struggled to juggle so much.
After a big emotional and physical meltdown followed by lot of meditation, retreats and healing, I started to regather the threads of myself and rewrite a new me.
For the first time in years I started to feel worthy and that I was enough just being me. I stopped comparing myself to others. I stopped judging myself. I slowed down and moved at my own pace. I realised the strength in my vulnerability. I asked for help. I made friends with my fears, anxiety and uncertainty and found trust in my ability to manage any outcome. As I started filling up my love cup, I soon noticed my passion and zest for life return. I started to get creative and found immense joy following my creative impulses. It wasn’t long after this my blog was born. I still find creativity and passion flow effortlessly when I’m well-nourished in mind, body and spirit. Self-love and care is an ongoing journey that I’m still learning more about every day.
CAN YOU SHARE THE SELF-LOVE PRACTICES THAT HAVE REALLY WORKED FOR YOU?
I’m a big fan of the ‘The Work of Byron Katie’ it’s a simple tool for questioning your thoughts and choosing your reality. It’s helped me love and accept what is amidst hard times and focus on gratitude when it’s most needed.
I ensure I move at my own pace and as much as I can, I try not to compare myself to anyone else. Comparison can definitely drive many unhealthy actions and it takes the joy out of life. I choose to move through my day with intention to follow my joy while still achieving my goals. If I feel resistant to a task, I generally stop what I’m doing, move onto something else and then eventually come back to the original task. I find everything gets done and my energy flows in a more harmonious way.
I ensure I take time out for myself. This can be challenging if we are not well resourced. I try not to let myself get to that desperate stage by speaking my needs clearly and acting upon them. If I need time to rest, whether it’s 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week, as a family we all work together to help make it happen. As mothers we spend such a huge amount of our energy and time focused on everyone else’s needs. When we understand it’s ok to acknowledge our own needs and have them met, we take that first step towards a more self-loving way of life. And in turn we teach our children to do the same.
AS SOMEONE WHO IS USED TO TRAVELLING THE WORLD, WHAT’S BEEN THE GREATEST DISCOVERY FROM STAYING LOCAL THIS PAST YEAR?
It’s been incredible to recognise just how much beauty there is right here in our own backyard. And to slow down to fully appreciate it. We have taken many local trips to some unbelievable places this past year from Ningaloo to Esperance.
Only 30 minutes from our home we’ve discovered waterfalls and wildflowers. I feel like we’ve connected with nature on a much deeper level and realised how much we need to care for our planet, and what truly matters most.
WHAT ARE THE DAILY RITUALS YOU USE TO RAISE YOUR VIBRATION?
Anything by the ocean - stand up paddling, snorkelling, beach walks. We often go multiple times a day to the beach no matter the weather.
I take time to meditate every day even if it’s only for 5 minutes. I find sound healing works best for me and helps to slow my thoughts. I don’t try to govern how I think it’s meant to be, but rather allow my thoughts to slow down and take a rest and I find less resistance this way.
Music and cooking always lift my vibration. I love to cook and invent new recipes while dancing and singing in my kitchen. It brings me into the present and is another form of meditation for me.
HOW DO YOU GIVE BACK IN A MEANINGFUL & IMPACTFUL WAY?
I truly hope that the messages of self-love, social justice, care for our planet and the animals I share through my social media platform and my blog resonate and land for some.
Our family is continually making changes to live lighter on this earth; saying no to plastics, reducing our food waste, living a simpler lifestyle with less environmental impact.
Something that means a great deal to our family is animal rights and speaking up for those with no voice. We strive to impact on this area as much as possible by living a plant-based lifestyle, advocating for animals and donating and visiting animal sanctuaries.
Every time we visit the beach, swim in the ocean we collect rubbish from the beach and while we’re snorkelling. My whole family is unable to walk away from litter. I can’t bear the thought of a beautiful marine animal dying because of it. It’s great to see my children take that initiative and watch them care for this planet and animals with so much compassion.
TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF OURSELVES, WE MUST…
Take care of our planet and animals and realise we are nature.
TRUE HAPPINESS IS…
Gratitude for what is.
Love the earth. Love all beings. Love yourself.
Stay inspired and follow Helen's journey on Instagram @helen_jannesonbense
If you love Helen's looks you can shop them here.