Dr Lauren Tober: Annalee, in this moment, what are you grateful for?
Annalee: This quiet moment. As a mother, quiet moments such as this where I can focus on what I am grateful for are precious and as such, I am most grateful for them.
Lauren: What are you most grateful for in the Byron Shire?
Annalee: There are many things that come to mind when thinking about what makes this area so special and an amazing to live in. The encompassing nature, beaches and rain forests, the beautiful farmers markets that seem to dictate the style of life around here, beautiful weather and so much more. Amongst all these, what makes life happy and grounding and what I am most grateful for is the strong, committed and compassionate community that we are fortunate to belong to. Living in this area are many courageous and dedicated individuals that inspire me profoundly to live my life to the fullest taking great care of the way I tread on this earth along the way. It’s a colourful assemblage of beautiful souls from around the world, many coming here for a quiet and meaningful lifestyle that the Shire affords. Many artists, musicians, environment-aware and sensitive beings, alongside thought leaders and life lovers flock here for the graceful space created by man & nature. For my many years of travel, I still come home each time and my body sighs when we enter the shire and I cannot think of a better place to raise a family in. The families that come here come from various places around the world. From Japan to Brazil, to Germany, France, Israel and so many other places, our children are growing up in Australia amongst the children of many nations, all living purposefully in peace, surrounded by nature.
Lauren: What does a day in the life of Annalee Atia look like?
Annalee: A typical day. I wake not long after the sun rises all snuggled up with my beautiful children. We make breakfast and the day unfolds. I’ll either be immersed in my work if the children are at school or at home tending to our space when they are with me. When I’m at home with the boys, my days will revolve around them and the house. Home is one of my favourite spaces in the whole world and it is without a doubt a sanctuary. We all seem to be homebodies here and great care is taken in keeping the space clutter free, flowing and conducive with creativity. Its not always an easy task and can be quite challenging with 2 little boys running around and 2 parent-cooks that must cook (at least) 3 times a day! But never the less, it’s a sacred space to us, one which we cherish and most certainly are grateful for in so many ways. When the children are at school or with my husband Danny, for the most part I’m in service mode. Whether at my office or out and about, my work is directly linked to a strong purpose of creating positive content in the world and a Herculean passion to remind women, families and the community of the significance of Birth & Community. Each day is different and I may be meeting up with fellow birth-workers or producers on at a local café; hanging at the radio interviewing a local legend, running the home birth group or at my home office – a purpose-created space dedicated to my creative flow and seeing health coaching clients.
Lauren: What piece of advice have you been given that you’re grateful for?
Annalee: Probably the most powerful advice I have received, spoken to me many a time by my father, comes from an old saying by a Rabbi called Nachman from Braslev. It’s something I have come back to throughout my life, during the difficult & challenging times, but also in the simple more daily events, where a little nudge or reminder could come in handy. It’s a simple adage – “and the most important thing, is not to fear, not to fear at all”.
Lauren: What quality in yourself are you most grateful for?
Annalee: Flexibility; which is often nestled in my willingness to be vulnerable.
Lauren: Can you think of someone you haven’t met, but you’re grateful they exist (or existed) in the world? Tell me about them and why you’re grateful.
Annalee: So many people I have never met inspire me, the list is quite long and they each hold a special place in my heart. I imagine all the people I will never know about that are doing profound things out there. I’ve been thinking about Gandhi recently, and his relentless practice of non-violence, he is truly an inspiration. Though the person I am most profoundly grateful for, and probably a strange choice for a Jewish person, is Jesus. In Hebrew his name is Yeshu. I was born in the Galilee, in the small town of Tiberias on the shores of the Kinneret, where Jesus had reportedly spent a good deal of time. Growing up, my father used to take me to the ancient Basalt stone pools in which Jesus is believed to have bathed, the water was crystal clear, as if untouched. He would speak of his compassion and truth abiding love for humanity and I was deeply affected. There was a certain feeling I would get which I still feel when I visit the Galilee, its in the breeze, in the rugged rock-dotted and low bush terrain, I can smell it in the ancient olive trees and I see it in the water. There are certainly no sermons or long teachings attached to my impression from him, its more of a silent and clear knowing. Putting into words almost loses it, but perhaps it’s a bit like a fragile yet fierce compassion towards nature and as such, us in it.
Lauren: Please share one of your own gratitude photographs.
Annalee: This is a recent picture of Danny, our boys Noah and Lev and I. We were at the beautiful park near our house, making a video for our good friend Ami’s birthday, telling him how grateful we are for him being in our life.
I am so grateful for my family. My husband, who has walked beside me for 14 years through thick & thin, the crazy and the amazing. Our children who have brought a new sense of purpose & grounding to our life and who continue to teach us every day about compassion, patience, presence and trust. And grateful for our beautiful friends that walk with us, supporting us & allowing us to support them. And finally nature – where we all start and end and couldn’t live without. I am so grateful and continually at awe by this amazing planet we live on. One in a hundred million light years, possibly even just one. Our planet is so unique, so special and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it all.
Annalee Atia is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Coach, radio broadcaster, speaker, writer and above all a Loving Mother. She is the founder of Clear Intentions Health, a Health Coach practice operating both locally & globally, out of the beautiful small town of Mullumbimby, Australia. Clear Intentions’ purpose is to create congruency in life through intentional health and wellness. As a mother of 2 home-birthed and naturally raised children, Annalee’s unwavering passion is community-focused service, supporting natural choices in Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding. She is known as the go-to natural parenting and healthful food muse. Equally a musician, singer and an artist, world traveller from early days in the womb, Annalee is in essence a lover of people and life. Raised partly out in the Australian bush and partly in an ancient town situated on the Sea of Galilee, by forward thinking parents, she is most vibrantly aware of the flexible nature of humanity. Transformation through truth & beauty is her calling.