As a long-standing client of herbalist and naturopath Gill Stannard, I was thrilled when Gill agreed to be my second interviewee. Gill’s clinic, City Natural Therapies, is in Melbourne where she has practiced for over 20 years. In her own words, Gill “likes to cook and eat tasty healthy food, inspire people to listen to their body and is often seen petting felines in the street”.
I first saw Gill over eight years ago and I have been a client and reader of her monthly newsletter ever since. It is Gill’s down-to-earth practical style, combined with her warmth and compassion, that I love. I always learn something new when I see Gill and leave feeling more grounded and inspired. Before a trip home to Australia, Gill is the first person I book in to see. Thank you Gill.
What does happiness mean to you?
Moments of total calm, experiencing just being. I’m happiest most when I’m truly in the moment.
What and/or who inspires you?
As a young girl I learnt about Emmeline Pankhurst, one of the original suffragettes. I’ve been outspoken about and prepared to fight for what I believe in ever since.
What would be your perfect day?
One that has the space for the unexpected to happen. Oh, and I’m a sucker for a lazy picnic on a sunny day and beaches with vivid sunsets.
Do you have a favourite place or environment where you feel most at peace?
I find the New Zealand bush both calming and exhilarating. There’s something about the shades of green from all that rain and the ferny aroma that resonates with my kiwi soul.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious is there anything you do that you know will make you feel better?
A hug from my partner, a smooch with the cat, pottering in the garden, a chat with my best friend, repeating the Buddhist maxim “this too shall pass” and if all else fails – playing Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”, very loud. I find it impossible to not get up and dance to it and forget everything that’s worrying me.
What worries you most about the world?
The shortsightedness of politics and capitalism.
What makes you most hopeful about the world?
The Occupy Movement. There’s an up and coming generation who care enough about the world to want to change it, and are brave enough to stand up and be counted. Last year, through Occupy Melbourne, I met so many extraordinary 20-somethings who turned the Gen Y stereotype on its head.
What, if anything, would you like more of in your life?
Meditation, bushwalking, travel, laughter and time with friends. Fortunately, all of this is achievable.
What, if anything, would you like less of in your life?
Being plugged into the grid, computers, phones and all those other gadgets we think we can’t live without.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself.