WCW: Veronica Drayton

2018’s first WCW is an extra special one. 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.
Meet Veronica. 
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I met Veronica when my very first #WCW of the series, Hollie, invited me to The Goddess Group picnic in Sydney. Not only did I get to spend time with the founder of the Goddess Group, Melissa Ambrosini, but I also got to meet all of the wonderful women who had been attending the groups.
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Veronica and I got along right away because of those North American vibes! I was drawn to her beautiful tattoos and her kind but very commanding personality. We were the last people at the picnic and took the bus and train together so we had the maximum time to chat. Anyone who can willingly talk as much as I can instantly gets brownie points in my book. We connected on many levels and I remember getting off the train and thinking, “I really like that girl. I hope we become friends.”  Unfortunately I met Veronica shortly before I had to leave Sydney but I got the opportunity to attend one of her Detox Your Life workshops and she sparked a new love for essential oils in me and strengthened my love for meditation. Luckily after I left Sydney, we have remained in close contact with social media and the interwebs.

Veronica is one of the most knowledgable people I have ever met when it comes to essential oils. She knows her stuff. She is also an incredibly kind,  thoughtful, emotional and thought provoking individual. I adore the constant quest she is on for self discovery and true contentment. After knowing her for months, I found out she was a Gemini… and it all made sense.
Veronica, thank you for answering my many messages asking which oils to use for whatever ailment I’m suffering. Thank you for cheering me on when I post vulnerable things and reminding me to be the light with the incredible content you put out in the world. I am so grateful our paths crossed just in time and I am very happy that you have now connected to some of my closest friends in Australia. Believe in yourself and your worth, you beautiful goddess, and you will move mountains. I’ll let her take it from here.
1. What do you think makes a woman worth “crushing” over? 
I would say my number 1 for crushing on anyone is being funny, funny women are my absolute favourite! a close second is being kind, and being a champion of other women.

2. What do you do for a living? What is the most challenging part about it?

I run workshops and coach on holistic living with a focus on using essential oils to reduce your toxic load and support emotional healing AND I’m also an educator at lululemon!
I think the hardest part is owning my strengths and being unapologetic about it. I also think that staying motivated in the sense that sometimes it feels like you’re spending a lot of energy and barely making a dent (just trying to change the world here!) it takes time to help others to see the light inside themselves, but it’s so worth it! 
3. Who are three women that you look up to and have inspired you the most in your career/life ?

Reflecting on this was such a gift because I have been so fortunate in my life/lifetime to be surrounded by so many incredible women. 
First and foremost is my Mum, as someone who lives away from home and understands the challenges I can’t even imagine that she moved to Canada not speaking english, with almost no contact to home (this was pre internet and when international calls were a small fortune – can you even imagine!) She just went for it, she took every opportunity to learn and grow that came her way and is just such an inspiration of hard work and believing in yourself, but she is also just so incredibly loving, kind and has the most amazing outlook in life (I’ll stop here cause I could write a whole essay on all the ways she inspires me.)
The second has to be Oprah and I don’t even care how cliche that is because she’s friggen Oprah. What gets me the most after everything she’s done is how she’s still a student of life, always curious, I also love how she OWNS 🙂 her gifts because she understands that they are part of her purpose. It’s also a great inspiration of abundance, because when you work in the spirit of service to others it can be conflicting to also take care of the financial side of things and allow yourself to live abundantly. 
The third is so hard because like I said I’m surrounded by so many incredible women (like you!) But I think I’m going to say Amy Poehler, she is incredibly funny and just such a boss babe, Yes Please is the book I gave to my Niece when she graduated highschool because I feel like it’s my guide to being a talented, honest, kind and bad ass woman. I also love that she started Amy Poehler’s smart girls to inspire young girls to be more than just pretty girls, to be whatever and whoever they are! Also she invented one of my favourite holidays of all time Galintine’s Day! 

4. What is one topic you wish more women knew about on a global scale? Why? 

Consumerism and how it makes such an impact in the whole world. I’m by no means perfect, but I used to be a serial shopper and it was all to fill these emotional holes, the phrase ‘retail therapy’ makes me crazy now because I see how truly prevalent it is in western culture. 
Not only does it have a huge impact on the planet in terms of waste, but as I mentioned it has a real impact on emotional health, the majority of the upper/middle class in the world are in a vicious cycle of Keeping up with the Jones (or actually the Kardashians) and it creates this serious global lack mentality that has us actually depleting our resources at alarming rates and keeps us feeling inadequate. Women especially need to know about this because we are the ones being marketed to and spending the most money – Vote with your dollars!  
5. What advice do you give to women who feel that they are constantly surrounded by drama in their group of friends? 

Be the one to break the pattern. It’s so easy to get sucked into complaining or gossiping but it’s also just as easy (sometimes) to turn those conversations around. You can either put a positive spin on whatever conversation is happening or just change the subject all together. If you feel like you can’t escape it, then start looking for place to go where you might meet people who are more aligned with your heart, believe me when I say your people are out there! 
I actually started my oil classes not for profit but because I wanted to call people into my life who were interested in the same things that I was, and it totally worked!

6. 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 ?
I think it makes them a better partner/mother/friend/sister, when I feel fulfilled and like I’m making a difference in the world, I have more energy, more love, more focus to spread to the people in my life that I love and the energy I bring to the party is also beneficial. 
7. What is something you are really excited about currently in your own life? 

Last year my health took a bit of a left turn and that was really challenging, but I have been working with incredible healers and teachers and I feel like I’m coming out stronger than before. The experience also taught me so much about myself and really highlighted areas of my life that needed to be addressed and also places where I was allowing fear to run the show. So I’m really excited about how great I’m feeling and also about taking my passions to the next level by starting an energy work diploma in Feb that I can incorporate into my business. 

8. Why is self love an important part of being a modern day woman, especially a modern day business woman? 

I truly believe that you can’t love anyone more than you love yourself. I know that can be triggering for some people and I have had some heated debates about it, but it all boils down to that simple fact, and by the same token, no one can love you enough if you don’t love yourself enough.  For me the more compassionate and forgiving I am with myself the more that reflects on all of my relationships and the work that I do. And the more that I work on it, the more permission I give to others to do the same. I’ve learnt over time that it’s really what you do that matters more than anything you can say. 

9. If you could have a lunch date with any woman on the planet, who would it be? 

I think I’m gonna go back to Mama O. I love Super Soul Sunday’s and just day dream about sitting across from her having soul chats and belly laughs. Also I feel like the food would be incredible! 

10. How can anyone reading this keep up with you and what you’re doing in the future? 

You can come hang with me on insta @veronicaleedrayton facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lovelightandgratitude/  website: www.lovelightandgratitude.com
Bonus question: What’s one question you have for me?

What was the catalyst for change in your life towards a holistic health practice?

 

Great question. When I moved home from Thailand, I had fallen in love with traveling and felt connected to my “soul” on a whole new level. But I felt physically unhealthy because although Thai food is delicious- it’s not very easy to control what you are consuming when you are living in a country and can’t speak or read the language. I encouraged all my foreign teacher friends  there to exercise in our little studio apartments in Thailand but the nutrition component was just not there. When I got back after 2 months backpacking South East Asia, way too much Pad Thai and excessive amounts of Thai beer and whiskey– it was time for a drastic change. I had always loved working out but my knowledge of proper nutrition was lacking. Then I reached out to my mentor about her health coaching business and the rest is history. The more I learned about how MY  fitness, nutrition and mindset were closely intertwined,  the more I wanted to help others do the same. I started reading personal development which is probably the most impactful part of my business on my life.

When I moved to Australia, I became a part of the non-profit mental health organization, One Wave (on accident) and this is where everything came full circle. I realized that my purpose in life is to make a difference in the mental health space and I allowed myself to step into MY TRUTH and stop worrying what other people thought of it. I started practicing yoga regularly, meditating, using my gratitude journal, and reading spiritual books. I attended The Goddess Group and realized there were a lot of other women on this holistic path. Now– I can’t learn enough between reading, podcasts, webinars, documentaries and Youtube binges and most importantly my personal self-discovery.

To me, I feel a duty to myself and the world to break down stereotypes against- “fit chicks”  and “spirit junkies”. I want the world to see that it’s not some woo-woo hippie bullshit. The connection between our mind, body and spirit is undeniable and backed by science. Taking care of your WHOLE BEING is what transforms your life and the lives of those around you.  And the coolest part is… there are humans out there, just like YOU, V who I would never know without this lifestyle. Cheers to spreading the love, light and gratitude. I can’t wait to see where it takes you next.

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