LIFE IS ONE BIG MEDITATION - INTERVIEW WITH VANESSA PULLA
Full name Vanessa Pulla
Location Toronto, ON
Vanessa Pulla is one of those people that just radiates positivity. I recently had the privilege to connect with Vanessa and chat with her about her experience working with a spiritual life coach. We also talked about her past, what led her to seek guidance and how it has helped her transform and align every aspect of her life.
Tell us a bit about your background and what led you to start your spiritual journey.
It all started when I was nineteen. Coming from a family of well developed entrepreneurs, it was ingrained in me at a young age to have a very strong work ethic. I was doing my thesis, working, doing an internship and I also had a lot of personal stuff going on that was all adding up to more and more stress. I had a lot of emotional things happen to me that year that was just beating me down. There was heartbreak, the loss of my grandfather and overall just a lot of terrible experiences. The combination of these things resulted in me being hospitalized and very sick. It was then that I realized I just had to take a step back and just think about what was going on and how I could change to help my well-being, both mentally and physically.
At that point, my dad had been meditating for a couple years but I had never tried it before. When he saw how destroyed I was, that I had lost twenty pounds and was not me, he just had to sit me down and tell me that I needed to try meditation. I tried meditation and I instantly felt so much better. From there it just drove me down this path that I wanted to explore because it made me feel calm and it made me feel centered. I was going to people who did Reiki to get some natural work done, I went to naturopaths to help with my health, I went to go see intuitive coaches who told me about dietary issues and after that, I was feeling much better. I also cut the people out of my life that weren’t serving me. I really dove into myself.
I'm now twenty-five and I've done a lot of work to get to where I am today. I’ve been to every spiritual person you could think of, from past life healers to astrology readings. I’m constantly learning, sharing and my journey never stops evolving.
How did changing your diet help you?
I’ve learned that it’s all about balancing the mind, body, and soul. When I was hospitalized and going through a lot of issues I was eating a lot of gluten and at that point, doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. I would get sinus infections every two weeks and I went week to week with all sorts of illnesses. On top of that, I was constantly taking medication. I realized that nothing was helping me so I took matters into my own hands and decided to go see an intuitive healer. The intuitive healer walked me through all of the health issues I was facing. She told me that my body and blood stream does not digest gluten. I got off gluten for a month and I was instantaneously so much better. I believe diet and mindfulness go hand in hand. As my journey evolves more and more I see the added value of eating mindfully for your body. My mind and body is clear and focused when I'm putting food into my body to fuel it.
For anyone that doesn't know, how would you describe what a spiritual life coach does?
My spiritual coach, Reena Parikh, saved my life. Our paths aligned when she came into my life. It was an instant connection because she was a mom for me in past lives, which created a connection that was so strong and genuine. Renna is a certified Oneness Trainer from Oneness University, a certified Integrated Wellness and Life Coach, and a Certified Energy Balancing Practitioner with 3 years of study and internships from Peggy Phoenix Dubro and the Energy Extension Institute. It takes many years of self-transformation and learning to become a spiritual coach and step into a mastery to help others grow.
I started to notice that I take on a lot of energy from the people surrounding me and sometimes I just don't know how to turn that information off and on. It becomes a lot to handle and a lot to communicate to society especially when you're so different from everyone else in terms of what you are going through or what you’ve experienced. Reena has helped me to find myself and what I really want in life. I’ve also learned how to release the emotional issues in my life that were blocking me. A spiritual life coach finds all the best qualities in you and enables you to grow within yourself so that you can then be so grounded that you can lift everyone else around you.
How did you know that you needed to reach out to someone for help?
You hit a wall and you just know you need that help. It's like any addict. I'm almost addicted to emotional pain. So you realize you need to deal with it and just talk to someone you connect with. My spiritual life coach ended up being the person I connected with. My healer and therapist all wrapped up into one.
How did your spiritual journey help you with your career?
It's all one big cohesive circle. I was working at a company before that just didn’t align with who I was and I could just feel a bad energy. You become really sensitive to all the energy around you when you're working with a spiritual life coach and so working in a big corporate environment abled me to identify that the energy didn't feel right. It felt uncomfortable for me and it just got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and I realized it wasn’t the right path for me. I just knew I had to make a decision because it started to internalize into health issues and I realized I needed to deal with it and take the issues into my own hands.
I made the decision to refocus my energy and take some time off to see what my next step was. My skill set had grown and all of my qualities were enhanced, which allowed me to see that I no longer resonated with that industry. I realized there was a greater purpose coming into my awareness. It was very challenging to take time off from my career since I had been working so hard for so long. If you asked any of my friends, they would say that they didn’t think I would get through it. I was isolated and it was very difficult time for me.
I was so preconditioned and had this belief system of what it meant to be successful. When I broke that belief system, I started to re-evaluate my belief system that had been ingrained in me from a young age and it all just came to surface. When that happens you deal with it. Dealing with it means you are facing your biggest fears and you are taking everything head on. All of your hidden secrets, all of your fears, everything you don't want the world to see, you are facing that head on.
I restructured my belief system in a positive way. I no longer associate jobs with my self-esteem or acceptance. My friends say I rarely ever talk about my job and it's because I don't let my job define who I am. My journey with my spiritual coach has helped me realize that. Now, I'm a separate entity of my job. I believe that our society is very focused on success and we are so driven to have the end result of success. In order to feel that success most people feel they need self-validation, so talking about work and realizing in their mind they are doing a great job lets them feel that sense of success. But as soon as you reach that next level in your mind of what makes you successful then go to the next one and it never ends. You need to accept it and see it within yourself to determine whether you are successful or not. I don’t let things like the amount of money I make define how successful I am. Those are not the qualities in life that make me successful because there are lots of other more important aspects that come into play.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking for guidance but just doesn't know where to start?
I would say put yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new because in that it's going to lead you to the right people who are going to guide you. I go to events and put myself in situations where I'm around people I don't know or places I've never been before for myself. It’s so important to express and communicate yourself to others and not to be fearful of what people will think of you. Don't have the mindset that you are going to stress someone out by talking about your personal stuff because so many people are open to listening and helping you. You would be surprised to learn who you can seek guidance from. You may not even need to go outside of your close friends and family to seek a spiritual life coach, that person could be right in front of you.
How does fitness play a part in your spiritual journey?
I haven't been meditating as frequently as I normally do and it's weird because I still feel aligned and balanced. So I asked my coach her thoughts on why I'm not meditating anymore. Her response was that it's ok because you are working out a lot and that's just as easily correlated with meditation. By working out you are moving your energy through your body the same as you would with meditation. So, when people are stressed and their outlet is working out it's because it's clearing their head and their energy and allowing the flow to realign. All exercise is a form of meditation so it's really important for me to keep that at the forefront of my cycle and keep balancing it out. I've learned that just living every element of life is meditation in a way. It's just dependent on how you process it and how you take it in. A lot of my friends are really balanced and centered without even realizing it. They don’t realize that by going for a walk and taking time for yourself is re-aligning and shutting off from the world. Life is just one big meditation!
What is your favorite way to stay active?
I always need to be trying new things like boxing, running or some type of class. There needs to be a balance otherwise I get really bored if I'm doing the same things over and over. I like to use Class Pass, that way I can try out all kinds of classes to keep my routine different. I also do the Nike run on Wednesdays, which allows me to run with a great crew of friendly people.
What is your favorite treat?
My friends will make fun of me for saying this - but I'm addicted to popcorn. More specifically movie popcorn. I drive to the movie theater just to get popcorn without even going to the movie! One time when I was in Vancouver for work, I was really craving some popcorn. I went to the theater but you needed a ticket to get upstairs to get popcorn so a random guy who had a ticket went up and got the popcorn for me and brought it back down. I was so thankful!!