Interview of Michelle D’Avella by Freya Bennett
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a Breathwork teacher, writer, and mentor. I am also a Desire Map facilitator.
Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I empower women and men to journey inward to release pain, open their hearts, and create a life they love. I do this in a variety of ways. I have a lot of free material including articles on my blog, an audio course on finding true happiness, and lots of inspiration on Instagram. I also have self-led courses on my website as well as one-off live workshops. I work with a select group of people one-on-one in a mentoring capacity. I also teach Breathwork classes in Los Angeles and sometimes when I’m traveling to different cities.
I recently completed the “How to Feel Beautiful” online course and found it truly uplifting. Where did this idea come from?
Thank you! There is almost no one I know who has not suffered self-esteem issues from the way our culture dictates what is considered beautiful. But true beauty has nothing to do with this dictation and everything to do with our inner relationship to ourselves. Most people can’t look in the mirror and see anything but their flaws first. I’ve always been very interested in getting to the root of an issue, and the deep truth beneath wanting to feel beautiful is the lack of love we have for ourselves. I wanted to help people live in a healthier relationship to themselves and this course does that.
How did you create the content for this course?
I’m very action-oriented so I knew I wanted to have challenges that would give students experiences for themselves. I also know that habits are formed after 21 days, so I wanted to make this a daily focus for 31 days to really train the mind to begin to look at the self and the world differently. Each week there is a challenge so you can experiment with how the new perspective or activity makes you feel. Many people end up having ah-ha moments through really committing to the challenges. Positive thinking is an important focal point when we are habituated to see ourselves negatively. So each day I also wanted to give people an affirmation to focus on.
My favourite thing was the affirmations for each day. Why are affirmations important?
As I mentioned above, our minds are habituated for negativity because most of us have grown up in a culture where we are essentially taught to compare ourselves to others. We’re constantly critiquing our skin, hair, bodies, and personalities. Our brains themselves are also wired for a negativity bias so I think it’s important to begin to train ourselves to see the positive. Affirmations can be fun to play around with because they give us a stepping stone for seeing ourselves in a new light. You never have thought of yourself as magic before, but when you read my article for that day it could help you see things differently and using the affirmation that day can make you feel like magic. And the goal is to change the way you feel about yourself.
What do you hope people take away from your course?
My hope is that this course will lead people to a healthier relationship to themselves. We need to treat ourselves more kindly. We have to learn to look within and find love for ourselves instead of through food, substances, or relationships. The goal for this course is to change your behavior and thought patterns so you literally begin to feel differently in your life.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There isn’t one piece of advice. I don’t think there ever can be because as we grow, different messages come in that help us move into the next phase of our lives. One great message I received several times through a recent difficult breakup was, “You’re being cleared out for something amazing to come in.” Detoxing can be uncomfortable and downright painful. We do everything to run from the pain, but when we face it and allow ourselves to let go and clear out, we’ve just made space for incredible things to come in.
What do you love about being a woman?
Everything. I embrace who I am completely as a human being and a huge part of that is what it means to be a woman. I love the complexity and seemingly paradoxical qualities a woman can embody. For example, I consider myself strong and soft. I crave independence and community. I love being single and also being in relationship.
What do you find difficult in life?
Facing the pain is always difficult. It’s one of the most important things I teach, to face the pain, but it’s not easy. It’s probably the most difficult thing we can do as humans, to face all of the pain, feel it all, let ourselves be devoured by and transformed by it.
If you could tell your 15-year-old self something what would it be?
Whew. Man, you are in for an adventure, my love. Stop fighting so much. It’s just your fear getting in the way of you opening your heart. And your heart, well, that’s where all the magic happens. The sooner you learn to open it and show your true self to the world, the happier you will be.
Why do you think it’s important to help girls see their worth?
Because we live in a world that doesn’t value women enough. We need girls to feel worthy because only through worthiness can we give ourselves to the world. Only when we recognize our true value can we begin to show up and shine our lights bright. And this world is dying for some bright lights.
You have a special giveaway for our readers, can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes! I’m so excited to offer a giveaway for my self-lead course, “How to Feel Beautiful.” Sign up for Pushing Beauty’s newsletter here to be entered to win. Closes in 4 days. Winner will be announced the following day.
Do you have any final pieces of advice for our readers?
Learn how to listen to your soul. It’s your guiding light. You have all the answers within yourself. Learn the difference between your ego and your heart and soul. Be humble but don’t give your power away. Have faith that everything will unfold the way it needs to if you keep trusting.