WCW Series: Hollie Azzopardi
I am bursting with joy to announce my new blog series- Women Crush Wednesday. Every month I am going to feature a woman who I know personally who inspires me and lights up my world. The Women Crush Wednesday hashtag and social media trend is nothing new. But I am trying to reclaim that title not just for half naked celebrities or women you actually know nothing about. The women I crush over are using their womenhood, their voice and their passions to make our world brighter. I have some incredible women in my life so I am honored to share them with you. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.
She came into my life by pure chance when I made a desperate semi-joking Facebook status when I moved to Sydney and needed to make friends. A mutual friend (she only met because she stayed in his place as an Air BnB) digitally introduced us and Hollie instantly was super welcoming and friendly as a native Sydneysider. We connected with our mutual passion for health and wellness. It took us a while to meet in real life but once we did it felt like we’d known each other for years.
She invited me to join her at Melissa Ambrosini’s Goddess group and introduced me to a bunch of other kick ass women. We’ve had some epic lunch dates where I left feeling a hell of a lot more normal and definitely inspired. Despite being separated now- Hollie is such an inspiration to me and a very supportive human being in my life and for my career. She reminds me how important it is to love yourself fiercely and be open and vulnerable because that is the sign of true strength. I’ll let her do the talking from now on. Thanks so much for doing this interview, Hollie and being my first #WCW feature! Continue to shine you bright light for all the world to see. So happy the Universe brought you into my life!
- What do you think makes a woman worth “crushing” over?
I love women who are passionate, committed to a cause, unashamedly speak their truth and stand up for what they believe is right, and with a softness, a kind heart and generosity to them. I love the contradictions of masculine traits balanced with beautiful femininity. My girl crushes are total babes because of their hearts and souls – their beauty glows from the inside out. My girls crushes at the moment are very outspoken when it comes to the female form, our bodies and embracing them for their beauty regardless of the shape we are given (body image and love is a huge one for me right now) and they are totally owning their sexuality too – massive girl crush alert on anyone in that arena!
- What do you do for a living? What is the most challenging part about it?
I am a holistic wellness coach (think mind, body and soul coaching), a writer, speaker and mixed-bag of nuts. My soul mission and purpose is to make the world a better place, and inspire others to live their best, most authentic, happiest and healthiest lives. Because of this, no two days are the same. I could be having a one-on-one coaching session followed by freelance writing articles for leading wellness brands, researching the latest natural beauty trends (I am also the communications manager for my beautiful friend and total girl crush Emmily Banks blog @Depthsofbeauty) as well as planning speaker notes for an event on self love, or hosting an essential oils circle.
The most challenging part is probably learning to switch off – literally and figuratively. Everything I do is online, and most of it is on my own – when I am scrolling Instagram it is for WORK not for nothing. So I really do find it hard to take my own advice and keep at least one day a week free for anything not related to work. Lucky I love what I do right?
- Who are three women that you look up to and have inspired you the most in your career/life ?
Ahhhh only three?! I love this question so much.
The first is my absolutely beautiful guiding light and soul sister Melissa Ambrosini. Mel and I crossed paths when I was in the thick of my adrenal fatigue and burnout, working a corporate job and just not living my truth. With her help and love she showed me there is another way – and I am so grateful for all she continues to teach me (the fact she is now one of my besties is an absolute bonus!)
Second would be Sarah Wilson – I met her at a book launch this year and fan girled so hard I could barely say hi. I love that she has a similar background to me, in print media, and that she is so unashamed in the quirky ways she lives her life. Her book on her experience with anxiety First, we make the beast beautiful is a testament to her vulnerability, intellect and also incredible resilience and I just find her so inspiring; anyone who paves their own path is worth looking up to in my eyes.
And third I am going to say is miss Emmily Banks. She has really taken me under her wing recently and is a freaking business MOGUL – like, watch out world, this girl has BIG things planned and I feel honoured to be witnessing them unfold. She has such a big heart and her intentions are all about changing the world for the better – can you get more inspiring than that? Not to mention the empire she is building – watch this space.
- What is one topic you wish more women knew about on a global scale? Why?
Right now it is about how seriously toxic mainstream beauty and makeup/skincare products are. Download the app Think Dirty and see for yourself. It baffles me that the beauty industry can SELF-REGULATE: meaning carcinogens, parabens and highly toxic chemicals are totally allowed to be used in products we put ON OUR SKIN: of which 60-90% are absorbed right into our blood stream. So not okay, and yet we aren’t taught any of this stuff when we start using beauty products. Switching to natural beauty is so damn important – the products work just as well, and are at the same price range – we really have nothing to lose in making the switch.
- What advice do you give to women who feel that they are constantly surrounded by drama in their group of friends?
Perhaps it is time to take a step back and reflect on the people you are investing your time with. If the drama is constant, for me, that would feel draining – and I don’t think I would continue spending time on people who drain me. Life is too short for it. Creating healthy boundaries is SO important: saying no to catching up when you really don’t want to. It’s about what you WANT versus what you think you SHOULD do. Putting YOU first. It doesn’t make you a bad person – and there needn’t be any conflict. These friendships will naturally fall away as you put boundaries in place, and start following your truth more.
- Do you believe being a strong woman with a passion for her career takes away from a woman’s ability to be a loving partner/mother/friend/sister ?
Absolutely not at all. I think what this comes down to is becoming acutely aware of our masculine and feminine traits, and knowing when to tap into these. For me, in running a business I am constantly wearing my ‘masculine’ hat – it is necessary to get shit done! But when I switch off, and am spending time with my fiancé or loved ones, I make a conscious effort to REALLY switch off and soften into my feminine. That means asking questions, not having to make all the decisions and allowing myself to be looked after and helped. It is a hard one but I am learning and practicing each day!
- What is something you are really excited about currently in your own life?
I probably use the word excited to describe myself daily – I am easily excitable haha! At the moment two things: first being planning our wedding (we get married next March) – it is such a fun time! Finding my dress was one of those moments I will never forget and I am so bloody excited to wear it!
Secondly I am just so excited I get to do what I do in the world every day, make a living from it and change the world. It lights me up! I am studying energy healing and light work right now to add an extra layer into my coaching, and I am just so excited by where that is going to take my business, and help my clients. Life is damn exciting!
- Why is self love an important part of being a modern day woman, especially a modern day business woman?
Self love is an absolute non-negotiable for any business woman wanting to maintain momentum, success and avoid burnout. More often than not us Type A personalities have run ourselves into the ground one too many times – we know what that burnout feels like, and when we are there, we are no good to ANYONE let alone in running a business! Self love is the antidote to burn out – when we look after ourselves as a priority we are more productive, more creative and better people to do business with. I find I serve my clients my best when my self love is at an all time high. People hear the phrase self love and are resistant to it because they think it means a total lifestyle change, which isn’t necessarily the case. Self love for you could look like finishing your day with a beautiful candle lit bath, or starting your day exercising in nature. Whatever activities make your heart truly sing – and doing them daily to fill up your cup so it is overflowing – because that is when you can really give to others.
- If you could have a lunch date with any woman on the planet, who would it be?
Oh my goodness this was a tough one. You know what, my answer surprises me too. It would be my Nana, my Dad’s mother. She passed away about 7 years ago and while I spent a good portion of my life with her in it, over the last few years I have really started to feel more of a connection to my heritage on Dad’s side (he is Maltese). She was a remarkable woman – a mother of 15 children, losing three of them in her arms during the war (Malta was the most heavily bombed country at the time). She sacrificed everything for her children. I would love to sit down and ask her questions: what were her biggest life lessons? What were her dreams growing up? The language barrier was hard for us so it would be amazing to really dive into her brain and unpick part of my history in that way.
If we were talking women with a high profile, I am totally crushing on Arianna Huffington – her stance on sleep is ALL me. I love it and her.
- How can anyone reading this keep up with you and what you’re doing in the future?
Catch me on Insty @hollie_azzopardi – and be prepared for some hilarious, totally vulnerable Insta-stories. Also feel free to sign up to my newsletter by jumping on www.hollieazzopardi.com – all newsletter sign ups get my ebook 7 Days to Self Love for free! Just fill out the form on the contact page. Easy peasy!