I always felt there was more to life for me than getting married and living in a house with a white picket fence. In fact, I was 5 when I became mesmerized by a blond lady doing yoga on television: I wanted to be like her.
That pursuit came with lots of fun adventures. I was 17 when I finally took up yoga. And I began exploring organic food well before it was a buzzword. I would bake beetroot scones and take them to my daughter’s kindergarten; I cooked with tempeh, tofu, and seaweed; and I bought biodynamic foods like miso and mung beans. My aim was to make creative, simple meals that weren’t meat and three vegs.
In the early ’80s, I was invited to a garden lunch with some visiting Buddhist monks at Chenrezig Institute. After lunch, we took the monks for a drive. We stopped at a lookout with spectacular views — and there my dress caught the wind and blew up over my head. One of the monks maybe got a view he didn’t bargain for.
A couple years later, I cut off my long, cascading locks for an Annie Lennox look. That almost-shaved-head time saw lots of spiritual awakenings. It was a period when I had lots of questions about life. I went to my mother for answers, and though she didn’t have them, she stood by me as I explored my own path. My studies led me to ancient modalities, including Zen shiatsu and Japanese jikyo jutsu, an exercise system that I taught for many years. In the late ’80s, I did the first reiki course that came to Australia.
Through it all, I was learning about manifesting and following my intuition, which eventually told me to embark on work that would provide financial security for myself and my daughter. Before I knew it, with some focus and action, I landed a corporate PR role that led to a successful HR career. When people would comment on my good luck, I just smiled. I knew I was creating my reality from within.
I was also going to yoga, which was very alternative at the time. I often felt out of place showing up in my high heels and business suit to a space filled with hairy armpits and sandals. Now I deliver mindfulness wisdom to thousands of individuals in corporate boardrooms and on retreats to exotic places like Koh Samui, Thailand, and Kerala, India.
Also I fell into a modeling contract with SilverFox MGMT Group, which has taken me out of my comfort zone. I will turn 60 this year, and I feel like I haven’t peaked yet.
I find it exciting to be on this planet now as a wellness leader and part of the age-positive rebellion, redefining aging and living well. Thank goodness for that aha moment 54 years ago! I’m ever so grateful that I am always free to question life, still jumping around on a yoga mat, and sharing the secrets of longevity, while adding to world peace. The biggest realization I’ve had thus far is knowing and trusting that I can do whatever I want when my intention is right.
Januta Ribinskas is a wellness expert who runs corporate workshops and international retreats. Learn more about her and her work at www.executivewellbeing.net.au.