Jemma Rivera is the founder and director of Jing Life.
What is happiness for you?
Happiness means many different things to different people. In my experience it’s the ability to let go, surrender to the moment and moving in that timelessness part of ourselves that never changes. There is no presence of the ego, no judgements and the feeling of separation.
Each moment and you become one, therefore it’s living with mindfulness, presence, awe and gratitude for every experience.
How did you come to your current level of positivity and what did you have to overcome to achieve it?
Ever since I can remember I always loved dancing, moving my body in many different ways through sports and performing arts. This is how I first came to learn how I could overcome my shyness, nervousness and excel in activities that I loved and brought me happiness and joy.
In my adult life whilst as a professional dancer and actor, I wanted to learn more of my Indian and Asian heritage. I delved into the studies of yoga, qigong and meditation. These ancient teachings provided me with spiritual practices to also help with a liver abnormality at the time. I quickly developed a deeper understanding of Self and the Universe. Since then I’ve continued my studies in other healing arts and sciences, including Ayurveda.
As life presents us all with obstacles and challenges, it was seven years ago I was told my fallopian tubes were closed and no one knew why. I quickly decided to embark on a deep journey of transformation with my Indian yoga master in Bali in the arts of yoga, ayurveda and tantra. Upon my return my health practitioners were all amazed by the result of reversing the condition.
I’m so happy, grateful and filled with awe to have had the opportunity to experience first hand how powerful and effective these teachings are.
I live a synergistic approach to life with all that I have learnt and experienced with these ancient teachings, the knowledge on how to care for myself and how to return home to my true nature especially during any wobbly moments in life.
Do you think you feel happy because you live in a place most people call paradise?
I must admit I do live in paradise and at times it is easier to find the inner joy and happiness by being so close to nature, whether I’m in the city or in the country. I feel blessed to live between Sydney and Byron Bay. In Sydney I have the view of the ocean and in Byron Bay I’m five minutes away from the rain forest and beaches. Australia is one of the few places on earth where the forest meets the sea. Therefore almost everyday I can find the time to be in nature, swimming, walking, cycling or meditating.
Nature truly provides us with the ability to let go, surrender to the moment and feel the Oneness with her and the Universe.
How important is the place where you live – can you be happy anywhere?
Paying attention to your environment is important it can play a role on how you feel. There are others like myself, as an empath who can feel other’s energies, read other’s emotions and their life is influenced by their environment, I had decided four years ago to live between the city and the country to help create a balanced lifestyle.
As I’m interested in the art of feng shui and vastu, in both places I enjoy creating a relaxed, calm environment at home, which others have described as a retreat or spiritual sanctuary. This definitely helps my nervous system, a space to help bring balance between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system.
Although I’ve realized not to rely only on exterior things for my happiness, because regardless of where I am if I am happy from the inside then the environment will reflect it.
You have a busy life and a business to run, which no doubt brings stress. How do you cope?
I feel so blessed and grateful to do what I love and live an extraordinary life.
Although at times stress can creep in, what I’ve learnt is that when stress creeps in it’s a reminder that as an empath I have to take care of myself. It’s a barometer to inform me that I need to create time and space for self-care, to be with myself to detoxify my energetic system of any energies I may have absorbed from people, places and things. This time is also to practice self-inquiry and mindfulness of my own beliefs, thoughts and behaviours that do not serve me.
The knowledge of ayurveda, yoga, qigong and other healing arts are the science of life. They’ve provided me with ancient wisdom and daily rituals to live a healthy lifestyle. This without fail, I have integrated daily to help bring balance to my nervous system, harnessing my spiritual Self, embody deep reverence and connection with the divine Universe.
Here are a few tips to help you! Follow the 8 pillars of health as lifestyle practices with the attitude of warmth, kindness and a sense of fun.
Nutrition – favour unrefined, unprocessed, organic wholefoods and eat lighter foods or make heavier foods lighter (meat shredded/soup with spices, eg. turmeric, cumin, fennel to aid digestion)
Hydration – Sip 2 litres of boiled water throughout the day at room temperature.
Rest – Rest for at least 30 minutes once a week – do nothing.
7 – 8 hours of sleep and do not oversleep.
Be in bed by 10pm and wake at sunrise.
Movement – Exercise at about 50% of your capacity for 30 minutes every day, preferably outside in nature. Exercise before eating and not after.
Go for a gentle stroll for 30 mins after each meal to help with digestion.
Breath – Practice pranayama/breathing techniques.
Periodically throughout the day be mindful of your breathing, the in-breath, the pause, the out-breath, the pause.
Mental Thought – Practice mindfulness meditation for 30 mins observing your thoughts and your breaths. Watching your thoughts pass across your mind like clouds in the sky; non-judging, non-attached and non-lingering on any one thought.
Connection – Create quality time communicating with family, especially during meal times away from any technology devices.
Create space each week catching up with family and friends.
Nature – Swim in the ocean, river or lake.
Take a bush walk in lush forest.
Earthing your energy by walking barefeet on earth.
Adopting self-care in every given moment helps us to experience life with happiness, joy and peace.
Share your favourite Happy thought
“Sometimes you just need a break in a beautiful place to hear the voice of nature and the Universe. Alone.”- Jemma Rivera
“Caring for yourself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.” – Jemma Rivera