I first met Bec a few years back when we both coached under Tara Bliss.. Over that time we have created a lasting friendship, both in person and (due to the distance) online. What I love about her is her passion, authenticity and ability to keep it real, all while making you feel good about yourself. Plus she loves a good coffee, which makes anyone cool in my books.
We started a bit of a fortnightly Skype date to hang out online, catch up on life and keep each other accountable for our work. It’s been a great decision by us, because it puts the human side of us into our communications since we can’t catch up for real in-person coffee dates.
Today, I am taking you behind the scenes with this talented lady, the creator of Think Big Live Simply. A woman you need to know about if you are serious about nutritious food and simple living. Personally, I am excited about the personal project we are working on in my own backyard this Spring. Proving there is hope for black thumbs like me to grow my own nutritious food!
Tell me a bit about you. What brought you to your online space today?
Ah, it’s such a long story! The short version is this: I started Think Big Live Simply as a way to connect back into my creativity and channel my energy into something just for me when I was going through a rough time at work. It started as a bit of an experiment and has ended up being a really important part of the journey to where I am today. I was inspired to start sharing my knowledge of all things Permaculture, simple living and veggie growing after I completed a Permaculture Design Certificate in 2013 which really ignited my passion for living a life that was both fulfilling and impacted lightly on the planet. The more I shared authentically online, the more beautiful connections I made and the more I enjoyed it. I’ve come to realize how I can use my online space to inspire other people to live a simple life connected to nature, and share my knowledge of permaculture design and organic growing with others. I’ve got lots of plans to create products that will help me do just that!
What ignites your soul?
Living my life according to my own desires and priorities. In the last couple of years I’ve really learnt to let go of other peoples expectations and the societal pressure to conform – you gotta do whatever you need to do to be happy because if you are happy, you are so much more likely to be doing good and positive things in the world.
Putting my hands in the soil every day, working with nature and watching things grow comes in a bloody close second – you realize exactly how fleeting and precious life is when you connect to the world through growing things, it’s such a privilege.
I feel really creative when I?
Take photos, something I’ve discovered a passion for in the last year or two! I never considered myself a ‘creative’ person… after studying and then working in science for 8 years where everything is so right brained I had sort of forgotten about my love of creativity. Taking photos, baking, preserving seasonal harvests and writing on Think Big has really helped me get back in touch with the part of me that used to prolifically read and write stories, do endless craft projects and play musical instruments as I was growing up. Now, my day to day life pretty much feeds both sides of my brain and I’m much more open to making creativity a priority in my life.
What is the biggest thing you have learnt about yourself since putting yourself out there online?
That I don’t need to measure my self-worth by the number of ‘likes’, ‘shares’ or comments I get – I’ve learnt that what actually makes this whole online thing worthwhile is the quality of the wonderful connections and friendships I’ve made with special people (like you, Mon!). If I stopped sharing myself in the online space today, I’d still be happy because of the wonderful people it’s already brought into my life. I love the saying “Strive to be worth knowing, rather than well known” – sums it up beautifully!
Can you give us a glimpse into a day in your life?
For the last 12 months, it has varied so much depending on the weather, the seasons and the to do list! I’m an early bird and almost always wake up with the sun, if not before. Early mornings are spent drinking coffee and reading in bed before work, a luxury I treasure and don’t give up lightly. In summer, I’m usually out and about watering seedlings, feeding chooks and checking on the market garden by 7am, and getting into the outside jobs before it gets too hot. Those jobs vary depending on what’s happening in the garden but could be anything from sowing seeds in the nursery, potting up plants, planting out veggie seedlings, weeding in the market garden, mulching new plantings or harvesting produce that’s ready to come off. I love the variety, I don’t know if I could stand getting up and doing the same thing every day again!
The rest of the day might involve doing some research and reading about various plants and veggies we are growing, ordering new seed or working to preserve some of the harvest for eating later. If the inspiration strikes, I might tap out a blog post, take or edit some photos… all this is about to get a shake up though, with my husband and I about to embark on a new chapter by leaving the market garden we are working on and taking new steps toward finding a place of our own to farm in a small way. We’ll be in a transition period for a little while tying up loose ends, and who knows what the next 6 months will look like. I’ll be using the space in my day to work a little more on Think Big Live Simply and put some of my plans into action. Watch this space!
What are your online go to’s at the moment?
There are so many inspiring online spaces out there right now. Two of my long time fav ladies online are Hayley Carr and Sian Richardson. Both these beauties inspire the heck out of me – through working with Hayley and watching Sian, I’ve learnt so much about living my life (and starting a business) in a way that sustains me, about making my own rules and following my passions rather than following the path of least risk. Two other inspirations for me are Tara Bliss and Alexandra Olsen – both these ladies attitudes have taught me about the importance of a spiritual practice (whatever this might mean for you) and embracing the world through a lens of love, not fear. This is an ongoing lesson for me, and one I’m grateful to be learning with such shining examples to look up to!
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is thinking about creating a blog or business what would it be?
Don’t wait until you are not afraid anymore. You will inevitably feel uncertain or anxious about putting yourself out there either on a blog or online business not knowing how it will be received, but don’t let it stop you. Your fear points you towards your areas of growth – so feel the fear and do it anyway!
What can’t you live without?
Good coffee in the morning, a book to read, hot showers and a daily cuddle with my husband and pup. Simple pleasures.
Rebecca Shann is a Permaculture Designer, Simple Living advocate, self-confessed Garden Nerd, and lover of all things fun and beautiful. It’s her greatest joy to support others to live simpler, more sustainable lives, while saving the planet one veggie patch at a time. When she’s not doing that, you can find her cooking from scratch in the kitchen, planting seeds in the garden, snapping away with her camera or hanging with her husband and cheeky dog.