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Women In Wellness: Author Kyra Evans On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Take tiny new actions. Martha Beck calls this “one degree turns”. I’ve learned that no matter how lost we feel, taking small micro actions and trying new things can open up opportunities we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. Worst case scenario, even if you’ve made a mistake, you’ve learned something. You don’t have to do the same thing twice if it doesn’t work. Just be willing to try.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kyra Evans.

Kyra Evans is an author, speaker, and certified mindfulness instructor who lives in Muskoka, Ontario. Prior to transitioning into wellness leadership, Kyra spent over 15 years working as a tech and finance writer for some of Canada’s biggest brands including RBC and Telus. Now certified in the Unified Mindfulness method (a straightforward, no-fluff system backed by Harvard), Kyra offers 1:1 training and corporate group sessions, bringing a relatable, no-nonsense approach to her teachings. With a robust portfolio of clients ranging in size from multinational corporations to startups, Kyra utilizes her firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by corporate teams to deliver practical, results-oriented wellness services including multi-day executive retreats and tailor-made corporate wellness curricula. You can learn more about Kyra by visiting https://www.kyraevans.com/, and can find her work in publications such as HuffPost and Introvert, Dear.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Thanks so much for chatting with me! I spent the majority of my career as a finance and tech copywriter, writing for big brands in banking, telecommunications, and software. I like to say that the biggest skill I learned during that time was how to turn complex concepts into easy explanations. I enjoyed copywriting, but the thing about it is that you’re always writing in someone else’s voice. After 15+ years, I felt pulled to pivot and begin sharing my own writing, under my own name. Much of my content centres around mental health — topics like anxiety, overwhelm, and people pleasing.

After seeing enormous benefits in my own life from the practice of mindfulness, I gained certification as a mindfulness instructor and began teaching corporate groups. Today, I use many of the skills I learned from copywriting for the purpose of teaching. And my firsthand understanding of the corporate world sets me apart from other mindfulness instructors who come from, say, a yoga background. I think it’s a good example of how the Universe works: Nothing goes to waste. Everyone’s story is perfectly orchestrated to get them where they’re meant to be.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

5 years ago, I read an article about a charity called “The Period Purse” that was collecting menstrual products for people experiencing homelessness. The story tugged at my heart, and I felt pulled to contact the charity to offer my copywriting services for free. An hour later, I received a message back from the founder, Jana Girdauskas, that said something like, “This is so crazy that you just wrote to me. Earlier this afternoon I was telling my husband that I needed a copywriter, but had no idea where I would find one!” I’ve donated my writing to The Period Purse ever since. It’s been one of the most meaningful client relationships I’ve ever had.

The moral of the story is this: If you feel a sudden nudge to send an email, jump on an opportunity, go to an event, or even read a specific book… do it! I really believe that we’re given these impulses for a reason. Follow them in a timely fashion and magic will unfold.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’m a recovering people pleaser. Many of my biggest mistakes have been related to the tendency to self-abandon in order to be liked, accepted, or avoid conflict. When I first started my Instagram community, I was always reaching outwards for things to post, trying to figure out what would get the most “likes” and “follows”. And I kept hearing crickets! Nothing I posted gained any traction until I totally gave up on pleasing the algorithm, and instead started shifting my focus inward. I began sharing insights from my personal journey — the things that felt interesting to me. Ironically, that’s when my community started to grow. When you lean into your own authentic path, embracing who you truly are and sharing your unique perspective, that’s what magnetizes the people and opportunities you’re seeking.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

Right now, the world is feeling pretty out of control: War, the pandemic, the climate crisis… When everything feels like it’s falling down around your ears, it’s tempting to just pull the covers over your head and stay in bed. But today, we need all hands on deck. The trouble is that if we are not individually well, healthy, and thriving, we don’t have the energy to help anyone else. One of the most significant ways I’m influencing change is through my work with corporate groups. When organizations invest in mental wellbeing (including practices like mindfulness) from the top down, they have the opportunity to impact the lives of countless individuals. Not only their employees, but their employees’ children and spouses and friends. I see my teaching work as influencing corporate culture, which creates infinite outward ripples.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

Get curious. We’ve been raised to believe that there’s an answer for everything and that our job is to get all the answers right, just like in school. But the truth is that our job is not to know the answers — our job is to ask the questions. Questions like, “What if this thing could be easy?”, “How can I cultivate a sense of peace inside myself?”, and “What am I resisting?” place us in a seat of equanimity rather than control. Not only does this decrease anxiety and overwhelm, but it enhances creativity and resilience.

Take tiny new actions. Martha Beck calls this “one degree turns”. I’ve learned that no matter how lost we feel, taking small micro actions and trying new things can open up opportunities we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. Worst case scenario, even if you’ve made a mistake, you’ve learned something. You don’t have to do the same thing twice if it doesn’t work. Just be willing to try.

Know your Self. Over half of women identify as “people pleasers”. 70% of girls grow up feeling like they’ll never measure up to the culture’s expectations. This causes us to reject who we truly are, and try to live up to an external expectation of who we “should” be. But it’s a losing game! No matter how good we are at pretending, it won’t make us happy. Getting to know your Self, and allowing her to steer the course of your life is the only route to happiness. This is actually the topic of my second book!

Face the facts, and shed the story. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or freaked out, I have a practice of removing the emotional charge of a situation by looking at only the facts. So for example, right now I’m writing the proposal for my second book. I’m very hopeful that a traditional publisher will want to buy it. It’s tempting for me to dive into a story like, “This proposal has to be PERFECT! I can’t make any mistakes! It’s the most important document I’ve ever created!” Instead, I peel it back to simply, “I am writing words.” It takes my anxiety way down. Sounds simple, but I’m telling you — it works.

Cultivate present moment awareness. When we worry about the future, or ruminate about the past, we’re signing up for suffering. If you find yourself feeling anxious, worried, or regretful, instead direct your attention to this moment, right now. What do you see, hear, and feel? That is what’s most real.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

It would be teaching people how to journey back to the true Self. I think many of us feel lost because we’re playing this cosmic game of musical chairs. Imagine that when we arrive here as babies, we each have a chair — some greater purpose we’re meant to fulfill. As we grow, we’re taught that we “should” have another chair. For example, maybe we’re taught to swap our “artist” chair for an “accountant” chair because that’s perceived to be more financially viable. The trouble is that every time you swap chairs, you’re taking up a seat that someone else was meant to be in, fulfilling their own destiny. I think the original seating arrangement was perfect! So much of our existential suffering could be eased if each of us just quit this game and sought out our own chair — the true Self.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Only five? Oh boy. There are so many things I wish I’d known.

1. Your own story is perfect. I’ve often felt like I needed to pretend to be someone else — someone with a different background or qualifications. That’s nonsense. There are people out there who are looking for exactly YOU! To change anything about yourself will make it harder for them to find you.

2. You don’t look smart when you pretend to know things. The smartest people in the room admit when they’ve reached the edges of their knowledge. Ask lots of questions. Cultivate what they call in Zen Buddhism, the “beginner’s mind”.

3. As Brene Brown says, clear is kind. Say what you mean. When you dance around your feelings, you make other people work even harder to figure out what you want.

4. When you’re facing conflict, lean into the truth of your heart. If you keep that as your compass, you’ll never have any regrets.

5. Listen to your instincts. If someone feels like a bad match, or if someone gives you instant “mean girl” vibes, run in the opposite direction, even if you can’t put your finger on why.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

My work is centred entirely on mental health. I love Jane Goodall’s perspective that when we think locally, we have the courage to act globally. Right now, our world needs all the kind-hearted, generous, sensitive souls to nurture their own wellbeing, so that they can then step into positions of leadership within their communities. If we are not mentally well at the individual level, and if we can’t lend ourselves compassion, we won’t ever have the energy or care to invest in solving larger global issues.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

I share daily content on Instagram @kyra_evans_writer , and on TikTok @kyra_evans_writer . I’d love to connect with you there! You can also visit my website kyraevans.com.

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

Thank YOU!

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