At age 21, Natalie Benhayon launched her own self-care and cycles tracking App before moving on to found a global social enterprise for women’s health, an international women’s magazine, women’s self-development workshops, a therapy movement for women and a festival that celebrates the transition of girls to womanhood. These initiatives are only one aspect of Natalie’s dedication to a purposeful life. This year, she commenced a degree in law borne out of her concern about the epidemic of cyberabuse and the harm it does to young people and, in fact, the damage it causes to all segments of our commu- nities. For more than ten years, Natalie Benhayon has presented to international audiences. She is acknowledged for her integrity and commitment to the wellbeing of all and equally renowned as a therapist in her daily practice. Natalie is the epitome of an ancient wisdom in a modern woman, and reminds us all of what is possible when we access and live our true potential.
What is the essence of your ”Livingness“ program?
The essence of ”The Livingness“ is based on living your life in a way where you are not the absorber of its demands, ideals, beliefs and pressures, but rather manage to hold steady to who you really are and bring that out to meet the world and all that it brings to you. In a world where we have lowered standards of what it means to live truly well, physically, mentally and emotionally, and with much of our ill-health attributed to lifestyle-related choices, this is an important understanding that we can each personally review. Do we live by the inner essence of who we know ourselves to be, bringing to life our inner fire, vitality and loving nature? Or do we live by what society has molded us to be: the protections, drive and need to be accepted, all at the expense of our body’s health?
What factors motivate people to come to your workshops?
In my line of work, I meet many people of different ages and nationalities, but we are fundamentally all experiencing the same intensity – with life and all its demands to conform to something that is not natural to our true essence. Some may be looking for deeper answers for how to attain this true essence and others for support when the intensity has impacted their health and well-being. ”The Livingness“ supports the very practical daily steps of how to apply our true essence to life, as despite the intensities, running away is not the answer – we need to be fully engaged in life and bring back a standard of decency, respect and love to our self-care, relationships and careers.
How could actors benefit from your method in their everyday work?
The profession of acting comes with very demanding pressures; to perform, be the best, work long hours, and often this means people find ways to ”best manage“ those pressures by seeking to alleviate the stress using means that can lead to unhealthy habits. ”The Livingness“ offers a foundational approach to self-care that can be used to handle the sometimes extreme workloads and pressures of performance, with a balance of greater vitality that is based on a deeper knowing of who they are in what they do and not becoming lost in any role. This may seem counter to the notion of immersing yourself in a role, but it is actually the opposite since you are fully with the role but not ”lost“ in the role. A critical difference.
Do you have any tips how they could implement the ideas during castings?
Try less! Working yourself up to be so in need or attached to landing a part can be very counter-productive to giving your casting your true best. Your true best is your natural best, which is supported by your day-to-day livingness, both taking care of yourself and self-expression, equally, in all parts of your life. The key is to know you delivered your natural self for a part, the result is then less impactful on your self-esteem and ability to continue in the business, irrespective of gaining the role or not.
How do you resolve conflicts?
People often say that communication is everything to resolve a conflict, or suggest that it is best to avoid conflicts in the first place. Certainly this is true and useful to a point, but if we are not prepared to be open in and from our body, and if we are not prepared to connect deeply and understand each other, then we only put Band-Aids on our conflicts rather than truly resolve them. We need to come to conflicts willing to connect deeply to our ”perceived enemy“ or ”problem“ and afford another a true understanding in order to arrive at a truth that leaves us both on an equal standing.
How do you manage an international career and family at the same time?
It is simple for me as I walk all that I talk and present. ”The Livingness“ allows me to know deeply who I truly am and what is the true purpose of my career and what I bring to people. I am a very dedicated type of person, dedicated to supporting people in their growth, but this is balanced with a daily rhythm of taking true care of my body, not absorbing other’s problems, knowing my worth/value, and giving my all in everything that I do. I would say a lot of us hold back ”giving our all“ and this is one of the greatest pitfalls to knowing what our full potential is in life and how to maximize it.
What motivates you to run an international women’s magazine?
The magazine has been such an important project, as it is taking the ”real life stories“ of women around the world who have very honestly opened up to share their imperfections and the steps they have taken to find evolution and growth in their life. We need more of this in the world, more women sharing, connecting, not being bombarded with how they should be, but reminded of their true power within to make a difference in their life and the lives of others around them.
Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Yes and no, or perhaps not in the typical sense of the label. I feel there is a true feminist in every person, who knows that the honouring of the feminine expression, which is both equal in women and men, is sorely missing in the world and this creates a lot of disharmony and unbalance in our society. We shouldn’t allow any act against any gender that makes another less, because when we do that, we are all less.
#MeToo – Do you believe that the fight against sexual abuse of women in the media industry can be won?
Yes I do, and the answer is in the groundswell of every man and woman not accepting abuse. If the mass public, all of us, do not tolerate it, it will expose and squeeze out those in seeming positions of authority that hold control and use it to abuse.
What needs to change for more women to be in powerful positions?
A greater acceptance of what women can bring would be a progressive start. Often women are judged by ideals and beliefs to not be capable in some manner, which puts enormous pressure on women to change their natural ways of leadership, authority and dedication into almost becoming a ”robot to the system“ just to make it to the top. We need women at the top, but we need those women to lead with the natural qualities that they have – to derive their strengths from an inner wisdom that can lead companies and lead nations into a collaborative, not competitive, unity.
Sexual objectification of women is ubiquitous in mass media.
How can women liberate themselves from it?
We need to speak up and that is just as much about having a voice as it is putting things into action. For example: I refuse to purchase clothing from companies whose advertising campaigns degrade women, which certainly lessens my options at times! There is a way to be classy, elegant and sexy that is not sexually degrading of women – but we all need to demand to see women being treated respectfully and that starts with the day to day of us treating ourselves and the women we know with this same respect. If you don’t accept it at home, you won’t accept it in the media.
How do you define self-confidence?
In a word – presence. We spend so much time in our day ”not being present“, thinking about problems, daydreaming, thinking about the past, thinking about the future, what we’re going to eat later, where we have to be and so on. Which means our minds are usually off in a million other places than the present moment of what our body is actually doing. This creates a void and missed moment of presence and connection to oneself. It means you don’t get to deeply know yourself, your potential and what you deliver. Sometimes we can even completely blank out and not remember completing a task. My solid confidence comes from presence, giving all of my focus and quality of being to the moment in front of me before moving onto the next. In simple terms, I then know it was really me who delivered and can appreciate all that it was, naturally giving me confidence to do it again or expand into greater oppor- tunities.
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