Conversation: Camille Farrell of HELLO GORGEOUS
1. Your biggest rock bottom/crying on a floor time in your life.
When I was 5 months pregnant with my son, my partner, with whom I’d consciously chosen to get pregnant, left. Virtually never to be seen again. I was terrified. I had never wanted or envisioned being a single parent, let alone a sole parent without the support of my child’s father. My own mother had died when i was 11 and I knew I didn’t have that ‘rock’ to fall back on. My world caved in. I felt more alone and scared than i ever had before. I felt like I’d failed, before I’d even begun. To begin with I couldn’t even tell my family. I clung to the hope that everything would work out, but as the days slipped into weeks, and the weeks into months, i began to wonder if me and my unborn child would be better off not existing at all. I entertained thoughts of suicide. I felt certain this would be better for him, and for me. While i was surrounded by people who loved and supported me, I couldn’t let on to how i was feeling. I was ashamed. How did i let them know I wasn’t coping? I was an expert at keeping a face to the world that showed strength and resilience, as i had done since my mother’s death, but under the facade was my fear. It chewed away at my head and heart relentlessly.
2. Today what would you tell yourself at your lowest point?
As i look back on myself at that time (over 17 years ago now), i would have told my pregnant self, that you are stronger and more capable than you can possibly know. That fear, though not fear alone, can, at times, be the driver of your greatest triumphs. When you face the thing that you fear the most, you will realise you don’t need to be afraid - you are not your fear. That the experience of adversity will build in you a resilience you can not possibly have known you have without that experience. That you have in you, a reserve of female power, inbuilt specially for these moments. That you will rise everyday, and you will show yourself what you’re truely capable of. And I did. My son, Jett, was the best thing I have ever done. He is my greatest achievement.
3. The most healing tool/practice you found.
The quiet strength and omnipresence of Nature. Meditation. Talking :)
I find solace and healing in all the things of this beautiful planet that are greater than my tiny existence , that have been for so long before me, and will hopefully continue to prevail long after I’m gone.
My go-to place is our tiny shack on the beach on south Bruny island. I have been going there for 20 years and I can literally feel the deep powerful healing and peace wash over me the moment I get on the ferry. I love walking our tiny beach to the old sacred midden, and feeling the the original custodians of the land down there, and their simple, uncomplicated way of life. When I’m there, i’m in my happy place. I walk, fish, read, listen to music, eat good food and wine, watch the changing weather and often find myself just sitting and gazing out the window for the longest time.
On sitting. I have had my most powerful mental transformations through meditation. I’m pretty slack at times with my practise, but as soon as I commit to daily practise, I can honestly say, it’s as essential as breathing! Why aren’t we teaching this in schools as an essential part of the curriculum?!
Also, I love to talk. I find it so therapeutic. Sharing frank stories of and life’s ups and downs with other humans has always been a source of therapy for me. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a chat! I’ll talk to anyone. The stories and life experiences I’ve shared, with mostly women, in my store over the past decade, has been the greatest part of owning my business. Women are INCREDIBLE!
4. The most humbling moment you have ever experienced.
My most humbling experience is the outpouring of love and support I received after my sister died, only 2 years ago this week. I cannot express how humbled I felt at the people who came out of the stars and gifted me their time, support and love during one of the hardest times of my life. I can remember being at the funeral and greeting people and was shocked by how many friends had come, from all over Australia. I had no idea how many people cared about me in my time of grief. It was truely humbling. Even my dad kept saying ‘all your friends, all your friends...’ he was very touched as well.
5. When was the moment you felt adequate and told yourself ‘You know what? I’m actually good at what I do!’ ?
I remember the opening night of my business, 10 years ago. After everyone left and I sat with a champagne in the light of the vintage chandeliers with a few close friends, I looked around at the beautiful space I’d created and envisioned for so long, and thought, holy shit, look what I did, I’m actually not too bad. It feels weird to say that out loud!
6. The limiting belief you are still working on today.
My limiting belief about myself is that I’m not reaching my full potential. To some extent that might be true, but then i wrestle with the question of what really does it mean to reach your ‘full potential’? Is that just a construct i have created because I always feel inadequate and like I’m under ‘achieving’? And in the eyes or opinion of who? I also, at times, doubt myself. I’m kind of a full on person. I’m opinionated. Bossy. Sometimes confrontational. At times, self absorbed. I often don’t care what people think of me, especially the older it get. I’m not sure if this is good or bad?! Mediation helps.
7. If you would have a billboard with millions of viewers what would you say on it (slogan, quote, expression - not a commercial agenda)?
I’d probably attempt some kind of lame dad joke to buffer the embarrassment of having to write something profound on a billboard. I guess it would say; “just as you will pass this billboard, this too shall pass.” It’s the best reminder of the impermanence of all things in life.
8. What book/resource of information have you gifted/guided people the most (any field of life/industry)?
Norman Doige ‘The Brian That Changes Itself’ and his second equally incredible book ‘The Brain’s way Of Healing’. Groundbreaking new research into neuro plasticity. Incredible stuff. Everyone should read these books. If I had my time again, I’d do neuro science as a career. It’s fascinating.