Health and Well-being with Zoe King
We decided we needed to pick the brains of inspiring people in our community, and listen to what they have to say about finding balance and fulfillment in their daily lives.
Zoe King is a Clinical Naturopath at Alstonville Osteopathy. Originally from Norfolk Island, Zoe moved to the Northern Rivers and pursued an enthusiasm for holistic health and wellbeing.
What brings you happiness and positivity in your daily life?
Spending time with some of the wonderful humans I’ve met since living in the Northern Rivers, taking a moment to just sit and enjoy my surroundings, making time to go on little adventures and explore new parts of the area and food – food always makes me happy!
What helps you stay inspired and motivated?
It really depends on how uninspired and unmotivated I’m feeling; I think it’s okay to just sit with these feeling sometimes. I’ve really learnt over the last couple of years how important it can be to sit with feelings that are pre-conceived as ‘uncomfortable’, sometimes the greatest lessons lie within them. Maintaining good friendships with people that love and support you and share similar interests and passions is always inspiring.
How do you stay mindful and conscious?
I’m not going to pretend that I’m able to maintain a mindful and conscious headspace constantly, or even attain it whenever I feel I need to. I think it’s important to spend time alone to remain connected to yourself without the interference of others’ thoughts and expectations. I love bushwalking, yoga, photography, reading and eating chocolate alone (I’m not a good sharer…) all to be good for my soul. Focusing on the breath is the most fundamental and achievable way to bring yourself back to your body, and out of a crazy mind.
How did you find yourself getting into Naturopathy?
After leaving a job in Perth at the beginning of 2010 I found myself at a crossroad. I moved to Lismore, where my sister and nephew were living, for some family time. After three months I decided that I wanted to go to university, something I never believed I would do or be capable of committing to. I turned out to be the last ever student enrolled into the university grade bachelor of Naturopathy in Australia; having to initially enrol in a bachelor of clinical science and transfer after the first session. The bachelor is no longer offered at universities in Australia, so it was quite a bitter-sweet journey for me; falling in love with something that seemed to be falling apart. I don’t have one of those ‘I was inspired since childhood’ stories but my passion for the art of herbalism and connecting with people has grown exponentially.
What is your biggest learning experience in the past year?
Love, trust and have faith in yourself – always. I doubted myself in several situations, both personally and professionally, over the last 12 months; all situations where self-love and trust could have drastically improved the quality of my experience. I’ve also learnt that it’s okay to be a Naturopath that isn’t a purist. I put so much pressure on myself to eat within guidelines that were generally accepted as Naturopathic and “healthy”; which inevitably lead to guilt. I’ve grown more comfortable with the approach ‘all we can do is our best’ and some days my best includes coffee and chocolate, and I’m okay with that. I have found it makes it much easier for my clients to relate to me, I don’t want to be up on any pedestal, I’m just another human doing my best.
How would you encourage people to have a healthy lifestyle?
Eat well (mostly), move your body (often) and don’t stress! One of the most insidious contributors to ill-health that I have observed in clients and people in general, is stress. Chronic stress, which we often normalise these days, can have drastic effects on our well-being contributing to exhaustion, cardiovascular dysfunction and generally reduced quality of life. Every day we have the ability to choose the way that we react and handle situations which will inevitably effect our stress levels; positively or negatively.
What inspirational things are going on in your local community?
I’m constantly inspired by what’s going on in the Northern Rivers. There are always people rallying for what they believe in, whether it be in the form of market stalls for raising awareness or region-wide rallies; it’s an incredibly diverse and inspiring place to live. Lismore also has the best waste management facility in the southern hemisphere, which is a massive bonus for me!
What are some ways that people can make smart environmental choices?
- Shop locally at (preferably organic) markets for fresh, seasonal produce; naturally higher in nutritional quality and you get to know the growers, what’s better than that?
- Shop at bulk food stores; bring your own jars from home for a completely waste-free shop.
- Support small business in your local area; with every dollar spent we make a vote for the kind of world we want to support and live in, support the little guys.
- Buy a stainless steel water bottle to refill instead of single-use plastic bottles (which are disastrous to our environment and our health).
- Use reusable bags, baskets or cardboard boxes for shopping; because plastic bags suck, plain and simple.
What have you got coming up in the next year? Personal/professional goals.
I’ve had a pretty recent change in my life that’s blown my 2017 wide open! So I’m going to take the time while I’m back home on Norfolk Island for the Summer to do some goal-setting. Vipassana is definitely on my to-do list as well as adventuring of some description and expansion of clinical tools in my practice – pretty loose at the moment!