By Olivia Preston and Janice Cardoso Gomes
Achieving an optimum state of health and wellness should be a focus for all women, helping you manage your time, focus on business and your domestic life.
Mikaela Messiou is an author who is all about a positive outlook on life. She promotes a healthy lifestyle and self-help, providing a motivation boost to her readers. Mikaela co-founded Damaris Health & Wellness Centre with a mission to provide a holistic approach to well-being, by nurturing the mind, body and spirit. She speaks to us at Business Woman Today about her mission via her books to give women information about wellness, financial stability and more.
“We are our most valuable asset. That is why we need to invest in our personal wellbeing, by taking care of our body, our mind and our soul.”
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is a very multifaceted and complicated subject to talk about, as it is an inexhaustible subject that affects every aspect of our being. When you leave the limits of health, that is when you enter the boundaries of wellness. For me, wellness has 3 distinct dimensions: first, there is our personal wellness, encompassing the balance between our body, mind and soul in a holistic manner. The second dimension is financial wellness, as we cannot be truly well and balanced if our financial life is in trouble. And last but not least, we have our domestic wellness, in other words how we feel when we close our front door at the end of the day, achieving balance in the way we interact with our loved ones and in our personal space. I delve deeper into these three dimensions in my books.
Why is integrating wellness practices into our everyday life so important?
As women, we face a multitude of challenges in this world, and it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a continuously positive outlook on life. Either our job is too demanding, or our family or children constantly need our presence, draining us of every ounce of energy. I often notice that I, my friends, or my clients, when we decide to do something we enjoy, even as simple as going out for drinks or having a relaxing treatment at the spa, we often feel guilty and rushed and are unable to enjoy our time. The result is frustration, tiredness, and loss of passion for our own wants, goals, and dreams. We feel that renouncing our own wants and pleasures is expected of us and indulging in our personal needs is often seen by those around us as frivolous.
This is precisely the reason why we need to prioritise ourselves; it is neither selfish nor egoistic to take care of our own wellness. On the contrary, when we reach a state of ultimate wellness, that is when our Inner Goddess is awakened and at that level, we can perform best in our professional life, and be the best version of ourselves to improve communications within our family. After all, is there a better role model for our children than a woman with dreams and the desire to reach them?
What was your inspiration for setting up Damaris Health & Wellness Centre?
I co-founded Damaris Health & Wellness Centre 3 years ago, led by my own passion for achieving an optimum state of health and wellness. My mission is to provide a holistic approach to well-being to my clients, by nurturing the mind, body and spirit. I started with nothing but an idea and an empty space that I wanted to transform. And I certainly did not have all the answers. I only had faith that I would make it work, no matter what. Gradually, the team came together, the space became alive, and individuals who shared the same vision appeared. Now, when I see our clients being truly transformed, I am transformed with them by seeing my vision being shared. In time, we are growing and now we are undertaking the setting up and management of new spas and wellness centres as consultants, creating a unique and customised identity for each individual project.
What would your advice be for mothers who are wanting to take the leap and create their own business?
My most important advice is that the first and most important investment you need to make is in yourself. Educate yourself. You cannot start your own business and change your financial situation if you do not educate yourself. Learning does not end when we get out of school. Rather, real learning is what happens after school. Starting your own business is important in gaining your financial freedom. Identify your passion and pursue it. Start small, as a side business at first, and see where it takes you. Success does not happen overnight. Whatever your chosen field or passion is, first you need to gain experience in selling and marketing. That is fundamental whatever your business is. Start a small-scale business that you can run from your home, I would even suggest an on-site business where you decide when to come in and when to clock out. Keep it as a side business in the beginning, without expecting to make any income in the short term. It will take time to build up the foundation to grow. I would be more than happy to offer personal advice on starting a business, so feel free to reach out!
What difference have you noticed in the wellness industry since the pandemic began?
For me, starting to write has been something I have been meaning to undertake for years, but it was during the pandemic, when the world came to a halt, that I revisited this thought and found the time to make it into a reality. The pandemic and the lockdowns have taught us many things, but for me, the most important takeaway is choosing to look at things positively happening around us. It also taught us that one source of income is not enough to sustain us, as it can be lost in the blink of an eye. Taking in these lessons, I think people have realised how important it really is to be well, not just healthy but to have a strong mental balance, to have financial independence and to have a domestic life that is fulfilling and rewarding, as we got to spend so much time at home. We all realised what truly matters in our lives, and we are making conscious decisions to nurture ourselves. The pandemic made us realise that working on ourselves is the most important investment that we can make.
How has your entrepreneurship aided different aspects of your life?
I started my first business at the age of 25. Fresh out of business school, with a head full of ideas and the passion and energy to pursue them, I thought I knew everything there was to know about starting my own business. Taking a deep dive into entrepreneurship, I learnt the hard way that business is not an easy sail and that things won’t always turn out as planned. I realised back then that being a business owner is not as glamorous as it seems. You will need to be a salesperson, a cashier, a stock taker, an accountant, and any other role you can imagine. My entrepreneurial journey has taken various turns since then, but one thing remains constant – the realisation that learning is a non-stop process, and a way for me to better understand myself and my relationships while identifying key areas for my personal improvement. But, it is through the tough times and the challenges that I have come to grow more confident, resilient and certain that I can navigate whatever comes my way in life.
Why did you write your books? What do you hope women get from them?
When I realised that I, and many women around me, were putting everything and everyone above our own needs and wants, I wanted to do something to change it. I felt that it wasn’t enough just to change myself, I wanted to try and impact, even in the slightest way, the lives of other women that faced similar challenges. That is why I started writing my books. I wish to inspire women to search for the Goddess that is lying dormant deep inside every one of us, to find what we truly desire, to blossom. We deserve, at the very least, to give ourselves the respect, care, and admiration we need. By writing my first book, I aimed to help women to look deep inside themself to find their inner Goddess. I wish to inspire women to pause, to cast away from their daily routine, against stress and urban pollution, to find nourishment for the Goddess in them.
Digging deeper into the world of Wellness, I realised that it is an endless subject, and financial wellness is an integral part of it. Money is the number one issue that women and men have stress over; losing their job is one of people’s greatest fears. We often say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but can there be happiness (or wellness) if our finances are not secure? Can we feel free to do whatever makes us happy in life, if we are tied to a job we hate, or if we are drowning in debt? I think not, and this is what prompted me to explore the subject of financial wellness by writing my second book, aiming to inspire women to take a step back and think about their financial situation and the simple steps that they can take to substantially improve it.
Why is investing in yourself and going on a wellness journey so important, especially right now?
We are our most valuable asset. That is why we need to invest in our personal wellbeing, by taking care of our body, our mind and our soul. But we also need to invest in our financial wellness and the best place to start is to educate ourselves. Read more, engage with people that you can learn from and then you will start to change your mindset. It is with these thoughts in mind that I engage with my coaching clients, to support and encourage them to grow and to develop their full potential, and the reason I have created The Goddess Workbook, which I call ‘the ultimate, step-by-step, practical guide in your journey to nurture the Goddess that is lying dormant deep inside you’. I am now creating my most exciting project, “The Goddess Retreat”, a unique retreat at an idyllic location, that will help participants to enhance their wellbeing, as well as their financial freedom, to transform their lives.