Thank you for choosing to join me for my third interview in this month-long series of interviews with a few of the people who inspire me to “be excellent”: play big, explore, and experiment.
Today I am delighted–thrilled beyond words!–to share energetic space with Evita Ochel. This interview is a bit long…so please grab a refreshment, settle in, and join us for a lovely conversation.
I am drawn to Evita’s work because what she presents in terms of material and essence is similar to my own in that it is heart based and genuine; she lives her truth regardless of what mainstream endorses, and she shares that truth confidently in myriad ways. Evita’s work (and life) reflects to me the quiet power and strength of living your truth fully, and allowing that truth to guide you as you create in all realms.
I had the pleasure of meeting Evita in person over two years ago and that led to the wonderful experience of sharing several weeks together while I lived on the boat. Hosting Evita on the boat “opened the door” for hosting future visitors, and also sparked my desire to invest energy in only that which is optimal for my overall health and energy. Evita’s presence in my life is one that I appreciate; she continues to inspire me to create from my center of peace and to live my truth, regardless of what path that guides me to. What she shares in terms of wisdom and grace and beauty is life enriching and transformational.
Evita Ochel, B.Sc., B.Ed., CHN – is the founder and editor of EvolvingBeings.com – an online publication to awaken and inspire people to grow in consciousness and connect with a heart-centered way of life. She is also a nutritional science expert, and the author of the newly released book “Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition”, as well as the editor of EvolvingWellness.com – an online publication featuring numerous resources to help people attain optimal health and wellness.
J: Thank you, Evita, for sharing energetic space! Yours is a presence that greatly enriches my life and I am appreciative of this opportunity to share your message here.
E: Joy, it is truly an honor to share your space—both online and off—so thank you for the cordial invitation to be here today. Thank you also for that beautiful introduction. You always humble me with the sentiments you share about me and I am grateful for your ability to see me as you do.
J: Let’s start with basics if we may. You have three separate sites: Evolving Wellness, Evolving Scenes, and Evolving Beings. May I ask, how do you create for each?
E: Oh this could be a long and even somewhat technical answer, but in essence it is very simple. Even though each of the sites touches upon a different set of topics and has its own niche, they all share one common element when it comes to how I create them, and for them. That element is my passion. Regardless of what site it is, I share what I am passionate about, what speaks to me in a particular moment, what I wish to share with others that I feel would help them in some way. Whether it is offering some information or inspiration, the creative process for me is always based on what I feel passionate about sharing. It has to feel right for me. It has to come with joy and ease. If it feels forced or like a chore, I don’t do it.
There is another interesting side to this story that I will take the opportunity to share, as the synchronicity of you asking this question seems so connected. Just a few days ago as I was reading the latest book of interest, I read that the writer Bernard Malamud stated that “no good writer writes exactly as he pleases.” I reflected on this as it made me think about how I create through my writing (or other). I consider myself to share my heart and mind with transparency in all that I do, writing exactly as feels right to me—or as I please. In some views, I guess this is not seen as the appropriate or “smart” way to go about things. Or, perhaps we simply need to re-define what a good writer is? For me, I just cannot imagine creating something because it is popular or because “that” is what the people want to hear, or be told. I speak my truth. I create transparently. I share my passion.That is the basis of the three sites. If that does not make me “popular”, I am perfectly at peace with that, as at the end of the day I stayed true to myself.
J: Evita, thank you for sharing that! You continue to inspire me– as I allow for expansion through my own site it is with that same standard of transparency. The name of your site that I was originally drawn to is “Evolving Beings: Consciousness Expansion and Heart-Centered Living”. May you share with us a little about the meaning of these words.
E: Oh I can say volumes about this, and what I share here will be just one version of it. I have found that everything in life and how we are able to comprehend it comes down to our level of consciousness. No matter the topic, whether it be UFOs or our food choices, how we perceive things, how we understand things, or even just how open we are to things is dependent on the quality of our conscious awareness. When we expand our consciousness, we expand our view of all that is possible. We increase our window of choice. We increase our personal and global potential. We begin to see things from a broader, bigger picture perspective, rather than limited viewpoints.
Expansion to me is synonymous with growth—personal growth and evolution. I believe that unless we actively pursue consciousness expansion of our being on every level, we shut down the infinite potential of our personal evolution. This is where people normally get stuck in beliefs, dogmas and other limitations that cause various degrees of suffering during this physical experience.
And so as we expand in consciousness, we honor the mind as our most powerful tool for creation. However regardless of where one is on their consciousness expansion journey, using the mind without compassion can be a dangerous thing, for self and others, that normally leads to various negative behaviors. We see examples of this in our world on every level, big and small. It is therefore only when we shift to a heart-centered way of living, can we use the mind to its fullest potential and embrace the fullness of our physical being.
J: Thank you! You recently launched an entire site re-design on “Evolving Beings“. May you share with us your “reason” for the re-design, and your vision for the site?
E: The reasons revolve around clarity, simplicity and focus. In my daily life I am very much drawn to simplicity and clarity, which to me have stillness as their underlying theme. Our society is so “busy” today and so full of “things” that it seems so challenging to find stillness. In turn, its lack makes it hard for us to know ourselves, hear ourselves—our heart, our soul, even our conscious mind—hear nature, hear spirit, etc. I wanted the site to be a better reflection therefore of these attributes.
Interestingly enough I would not call myself a particularly focused person. (I guess it depends what reference point is used to explain what focused entails.) There are just so many areas of life, so many topics that I am drawn to, curious about or want to explore. I find life to be such a rich cornucopia of experiences! However, I feel that over the past few years I had a chance to explore so much both inside of myself and outside, and instead of seeing separate units of things, I began to see a unifying theme. This brought about a more unified focus into my life, as to what my work—purpose in this lifetime—is really all about.
One final reason for the change is to officially transition EvolvingBeings.com from a personal blog, into an online monthly magazine. This to me is part of the clarity, simplicity and focus. I want to offer readers a trusted and valuable resource that they can depend on for exploring various topics to facilitate expanding their consciousness and moving into a heart-centered way of life. Thus, as the foundation of the site is the idea of “evolving”, I want the site to evolve as I do, and reflect my most current state of being.
J: I love your video series through EBTV. What was the origin of this series and what is your vision for it? I truly do not believe in “favorites” but may you share with us what is one of your personal “favorite” video experiences within this series?
E: Thank you so much Joy. EBTV was just as much a personal expansion and evolution for me, as I hope the work I do is for others. Looking at the videos today, it is hard for me to believe that this is the same person who was video camera shy most of her life (and that is putting it mildly). But over the years the Universe began to gift me various opportunities to not just get comfortable in front of a video camera, but to actually consider teaching through this medium. And as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Today EBTV is a network that currently has over 100 videos on numerous topics, featuring a wide variety of guests. Aside from the interview series, I currently also host the Earth Changes series and New Earth Living series.
My vision with EBTV is to continue to expand my creative potential and provide quality video content, while teaching and being of service to others. And I so agree with you about not having favorites, so it is hard to pick just one. After every guest or personal recording I walk away with this invigorated energy of expansiveness. If I had to pick a favorite, there are two that come to mind first. The first is the 11-11-11 trip experience video, which you reference below because it allowed me to share a very meaningful part of my personal journey with others, while putting into action my creative side. The second, would be my 3 hour interview with physicist and consciousness expert Thomas Campbell, which will be airing the week of January 16th. His work holds such resonance for me and has played such a key role in my life and personal expansion. I very much consider him my mentor and to be able to share his work with others was deeply meaningful for me.
J: One of the videos (referenced on my resources page) that has been a catalyst for my own recent growth spurt is “My Peru Spiritual Journey Experience for 11-11-11”. Watching this video was life changing for me and the beginning of my intention to explore the concepts of excellence and commitment within my own life. I know this experience was life changing for you as well. May you share a little with us how this trip affected you overall? And a “highlight” if you will?
E: I was having an unmistakable inner call to visit Peru for well over a year now and it was amazing to see how the experience came into my reality. The life changing factor began in that, in and of itself which just further proved to me the miracles that life is made up of when we live from the heart with passion, clear intention and in the divine flow of all that is. The trip had many highlights, but there was one particular magical highlight from the 11-11-11 ceremony that I talk about in the video. In general, it was the sacred connection with nature that I got to experience there that had the most impact and spoke the most to my spirit—specifically the Andes mountains, the jungles, the ocean and the llamas.
J: I had the privilege of listening to you speak at a conference. I love your voice–you stand firm in your truth, and you quietly (yet powerfully) share tools that empower others. You don’t use mass marketing tools to spread this message, you just share transparently and allow your message to be heard. Two questions, if I may: How did you find your voice? And, may you share with us about your “marketing philosophy” and how you choose to share your message?
E: Even though I was not consciously aware of it until my early 20’s, I had always been a teacher at heart in one way or another. Since being a young girl, I also had a strong sense of living life based on my rules, not someone else’s and staying true to myself. As I matured into adulthood this only became more refined and nothing was more valuable to me than staying true to myself, living with personal integrity and compassion for all life. After a personal spiritual awakening that began in 2005, it became clear to me that I could help others by sharing my voice and my truth to inspire them, to find their own.
As for my marketing philosophy, it is simply called “I don’t have one.” I have never been attracted to anything “business-based” and as I already mentioned if something doesn’t move me on a deeper level, or ignite my passions or excite me, I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I love. If that means writing an article, I do it. If it means writing a book, I do that. If it means sitting by the lake and watching ducks all day, then I do that. Yes, I will admit, since I started with the online sites at various points I “tried” to be “fair” and explore the field of marketing, but to no avail. Literally I would start reading the first line of an article about how to make yourself a better a, b or c and stop. There is nothing that excites me about marketing—marketing myself or my work. Naturally this is not a good business practice, but I do not consider anything I do a business. I am not interested in competing with anyone, or living by numbers and stats, or proving anything, or establishing some name for myself. Does this limit me from how many people get exposed to my work, or could benefit from it? Most definitely. But I believe that those who are meant to find it, will, and the Universe will naturally take care of how things are meant to go. I just need to focus on doing what I love and let the Universe take care of the details.
J: In transparency, one of your messages that hit home for me through listening to you speak and spending time together is one of optimal health–a theme that you explore through all three of your sites. Listening to you speak about food sources and nutrients as related to energizing our body, mind and spirits inspired me to review my food choices and raise my vibration. I recognized that “treating” my self with a piece of six layer chocolate cake was truly not a “treat” and allowing my self to ingest and invest in only that which is life enriching is the “best” present I could give my self. (Thank you for the inspiration). A wonderful resource for me is your book “Healing & Prevention Through Nutrition”. May you speak a little about this book..the message and the process of incorporating these concepts into our lives?
E: You are most welcome Joy. And it is true, the importance I give to optimal health is huge because while I recognize that we are spiritual beings, we are currently in a physical body and we need to respect that. So many people focus on matters of the mind, while neglecting the body and/or spirit. Others focus on the spirit, while neglecting the mind and/or body. And yet others focus on the body, while neglecting the spirit and/or mind. For optimal health and living, we need to honor all the parts that make up who we are.
So while I dream of writing a comprehensive book about optimally healthy living on a mind, body and spirit level, for now I was most called to write a book that could help people with one of the most basic things in this physical reality, that being nourishing their body. The sad truth is that most people today have lost complete touch with what they should be eating or what can be considered food. When over 75% of the average grocery does not qualify, and the media is full of contradicting messages, it is not hard to see why this is so. This book therefore is all about helping us remember what the foundation for an optimally healthy body needs to be; one that can prevent disease and heal itself. In it I dispel myths like the “everything in moderation” paradigm, present a clear outline for how to eat and what to eat, and include lots of practical tips for how to incorporate everything covered in the book, including a section on meal ideas.
J: Another huge message I receive from knowing you is about the importance of presence— in connecting with others and relating with world. May you share a little about this with us?
E: When it comes to the importance of presence, I think it comes down to realizing this: if we are not present, we miss a lot of the life that happens right in front of us. I will not label this as good or bad, it just depends on the experience one seeks out of life. If one is a parent and constantly thinking about how the kids will grow up, they can miss the gift of enjoying the child at the particular stage of life that they are at. If one is an artist and constantly thinking of where they will sell the final product, they can miss the joy that comes with creating that product.
When we are present for others, we can literally heal them. When we are present in nature, it can heal us. The power of presence has been underestimated for many years, but the good news is that thanks to the spiritual awakening on the planet today, each day more people are opening up to the gift of presence in how they connect with others and the world.
J: The wisdom and clarity that you reflect through your work allows me to consider options I might not have otherwise. I wonder, when you are creating and doubt surfaces, what resources do you rely upon as you continue to create? And, if I may ask, what would you consider is the source of your power?
E: Oh this is such a great question and one so difficult to answer with words alone. This is one of the areas where “feeling” is very involved and leads to an inner knowing. To make my answer more practical, I tremendously value living mindfully, from a state of the highest conscious awareness I can have in any given moment. When we live from a state of utmost mindfulness, we are in the flow of life, rather than in resistance. Staying mindful in the moment of what I am thinking or choosing, allows me to create my life (present and future) with favorable outcomes. So ultimately, it is an intimate relationship between feeling and knowing that I consider to be the foundation of my life and everything I do in it.
Our society in contrast, is very much geared to living based on thinking alone. We think that at the end of the day logic and rational thought is going to give us what we want. Oftentimes this is not the case at all. In neglecting our feelings—our divine inner knowing—we cut ourselves off from one of the most powerful parts of who we are, and this in turn has various consequences on our life, which many oftentimes would call unpleasant or unfavorable.
J: You have this beautiful sense of love and peace and joy about you. Within your life, how do you find your center, what brings you peace? And what brings you joy?
E: Generally speaking, life brings me joy! Once we step out of the illusory game that so many of us play and call “reality”, life takes on a coherent, easy and joyous nature. And speaking of nature, that is what brings me most peace. But on a deeper level taking personal accountability for my life—my thoughts, words and actions—as well as staying open, flexible, present and mindful are what allows me to stay grounded (or centered) and navigate through life in a state of inner peace and joy.
J: You have chosen to live in a remote area removed from mainstream. I wonder, do you have any routines that you follow? Is there a “typical” day for you?
E: To start with, I have to say that the gratitude I feel each day and at numerous parts of the day for my living environment never ceases to amaze me. There is not, nor has there been, a day or a moment where I questioned this move or if living where I do is right for me. At the risk of sounding attached or defining myself through it, it is me.
Depending on the season, a string of days can resemble each other, or be uniquely different. What each day has in common is that I wake up naturally and proceed to start the day, which is always filled with some form of creative endeavor and connection with nature. During the warmer months I spend most of my time outdoors. During the colder months I spend most of my time indoors, enjoying the warmth of the natural wood stove and watching the birds, squirrels and oftentimes deer outside of our windows.
J: Last, I wanted to acknowledge our time on the boat together. This is how I know you are a person of integrity: you not only write and speak your message but you live it and I personally got to share that with you. Refreshing and wonderful to witness and connect through! May I ask, what was the “best” part of boat life? And, although we do like to focus on the positive, was there anything about boat life was “less than” appealing?
E: Thank you Joy, and it was again such an honor to share space with you. I must say the last part of your question gave me a good chuckle thinking back to those, what was is it, 10 days straight of rain while having one’s first boat living experience?! Regardless, it was one of the neatest things I ever did, to experience living on a boat. And not just for a day, and not alone with my husband either, but with a whole other family and in a smaller space than most people’s living room! All of it was such an incredible gift and personally expanding experience! There were so many amazing things that I walked away with from this experience, with the best part of boat life being the intimately close connection with the water one is able to experience. To feel as if one is living, sleeping and being one with the water—ocean in this case—was pretty incredible! As for the least appealing, well being a lover of warmth that would have to be the cold dampness that can be a reality of boat life.
J: Thank you for sharing your beautiful spirit! In closing, is there anything you would like us to know about you, your vision, your voice?
E: My vision is that there is perfection in this world right now as it stands. This is often hard, if not impossible for people to see. However, I feel strongly that everything that has happened and is happening is for us to know ourselves as love and continue our infinite spiritual expansion. So many of us want to save the world, or fix the world, or heal it. In reality, we only need to heal ourselves, to heal, or fix, or save the world. This does not mean that we should not attempt to help others, but simply to understand that the world we see is a reflection of what is going on within us. When we change our inner landscape, the external landscape follows suit.
Each reader who leaves a comment addressing the question below will be entered into a drawing. The winner will be randomly chosen Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9pm (PST)
Name one thing that you can commit to doing in your life starting now, to expand your level of compassion for either yourself, others, a certain community, animals, the environment, etc?.
Thank you, Evita! Thank you, dear reader! *Excellent* indeed:)
Much peace and abundant love,
Reminder: Experiment. Explore. Experience.