authentic you interview series: elizabeth irvine (and a very cool giveaway)

It's been far too long since I've done one of these interviews, don't you think?  As I was sitting with Beth at Lake Austin Spa earlier this week, I thought it would be the perfect time to interview her -- using my modified questions from the Proust questionnaire -- and as luck would have it, she was very keen on participating. But that's Beth for you:  always ready to try something new and fun.

I met Beth one day when I was leaving my publisher's offices, and she was walking in.  We only spoke briefly, but that very day, I received an e-mail from her.  Our publisher had showed her Chookooloonks, and she wanted to know if I would be interested in contributing some of the photographs for her book, which is in the process of being republished, Healthy Mother, Healthy Child.  I was happy to agree.

Beth's story is an interesting one:  she lived in England for many years, where she worked as a registered nurse.  While living in London, her son was born with a debilitating skin condition, which required him to be bandaged from head to foot daily.  Because of the stress of her son's illness (and the fact that she was taking care of her three-year-old twin girls as well), she decided to take a weekly yoga class to relax.  She became hooked:  she eventually became a certified yoga instructor, and made huge changes in her home life and her diet, bringing home and cooking whole foods, and creating an atmosphere of peace in her home.  All of these modifications seemed to have a profound effect on her life:  her son, who was never supposed to recover from his condition, was fully cured at the age of 3. 

Beth and I have become fast friends since we met that day earlier this summer.  Healthy Mother, Healthy Child is scheduled to be re-released Spring 2010, as is her second book, A Moment's Peace, all about helping mothers find peace in their hectic worlds.  She leads yoga and guided meditation workshops, and better still, she's recently come out with a new product ...

... well, more about that after her interview.  Without further ado, here's Beth:

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1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Peaceful contentment.  Not having any longing or wanting for anything.  I tend to feel this when I'm meditating, when I'm with my family, when I'm with a good friend.  Like sitting right here, where I'm sitting with a friend, the weather is perfect, my iced tea is right here, I'm longing for nothing.  I'm perfectly happy.

2. What is your greatest fear? Injury to my children.

3. Which living person do you most admire? My mom.

4. What trait do you most deplore in yourself? Sometimes I think I take things too personally.

5. What trait do you most deplore in others? Being fake.

6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Trying to be everything to everyone.  It's impossible to do.

7. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My husband.  And my children -- can I choose them as well?

8. Which talent would you most like to have? I would love to play the piano, be a great scuba diver, and be a great photographer!

9. What is your current state of mind? Relaxed and happy!

10. What do you consider your greatest achievement? My children, by books, my message. 

11. What is your most treasured possession? My health.

12. What is your superpower? I think I have a gift in healing others.

13. Who is your favourite hero of fiction? Superman, in the sense that everyone has the ability to be incredible.  But I also love princesses in fairy tales, because I think there's royalty in every one of us.

14. Who are your heroes in real life? Single parents who make ends meet on very little.  People who seemingly have a lack of resources, and rise above that to succeed.

15. What is your motto? See the beauty right before my eyes.

16. What do you most value in your friends? I'm very selective about the people I hang out with, and those people have to be honest, consistent, do what they say they're going to do, and have integrity.  Also, we have to enjoy a good laugh.

17. Which word or phrase do you most overuse?  Probably "serendipity."  Or "sychronicity."  I feel like there's a lot of synchronicity and serendipity in my life!

18. What is your greatest extravagance? Vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce!

19. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Comfort in her own skin.

20. What is the quality you most like in a man?
Respect and honour for others.

21. On what occasion do you feel the most authentic?
  When I'm working.  When I'm with my children and/or my husband.  And when I'm with my close friends.

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Pretty awesome, isn't she?  But she's even awesomer:  Beth has come out with a CD, entitled "A Moment's Peace:  Sounds of Stillness and a Guided Relaxation" -- about 50 minutes of music and words to help you relax.   And she's giving away THREE of them!  Simply leave a comment below, answering the following question:

What is your greatest extravagance?

And I'll randomly choose three commenters to each win one of Beth's CD's.  I'll leave comments open until midnight, Monday, October 26.  One comment per person, please!


Good luck!


SongBy thy grace by Snatam Kaur.  This song chosen for you by Beth.