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Perth Most Inspiring Health and Wellness Event – Write Up by Carly Durante

After the success of the previous Positive Life Expo and Workshop, I was beyond excited to be part of this year’s event team. I first heard of Strive and Thrive after finding their Instagram and wow was I intrigued – all I saw was a beautiful space of positivity and inspiration. With planning just begun, I joined Norita and team and together with months of preparation, we waited in excitement for the big day to happen…and wow what can I say – the day took my breath away and was beyond what I imagined. A day full of love, laughter, learning, positive vibes, meeting so many amazing people and hearing so many inspiring stories. I think it’s fair to call this one of Perth’s most inspirational health and wellness events.

Positive Life Expo and Workshops is a completely unique event because of its core message to promote happiness, wellness and empower people. I truly believe that people walked out with more confidence and power then when they walked in. I think what is so unique about the event is that it has both exhibitors, speakers and interactive activities. There was a room of selective heart based exhibitors with health and wellness products and services. And the other room was where some of the exhibitors presented on topics which they are passionately about. From meditation, motivational speeches, panel discussions and even a jungle body dance class. It gave people the chance to not only visit exhibitors at their table but to also experience mini healing sessions from the practitioners. The day was filled with people going from the exhibitor room to the workshop room with lots of laughter, smiles and positive vibes in between.

Running an event of this size is no easy task and it takes a lot of hard work and determination. What is so inspirational is that the team behind the event, all have their own stories from chronic pain and conditions such as anxiety in their own lives. Norita Omar in particular who is the founder and main driver of this whole event, has such an inspiring story and she worked so hard every day despite a lot of challenges to put together an event that was going to help change peoples lives. One thing that she lives by is her daily morning green smoothie which she adds in Superfeast’s Lions Mane and Mason’s Mushrooms to help with her brain health, fatigue and stress.  

Before we knew it – the day was here and wow where to begin. The morning started with a breathtaking sound healing presented by Bridgit Cray, which included crystal bowls as well as other sound healing instruments. It was the perfect start to the day as it got everyone grounded and there was a definite sense of peace that surrounded the area. Lights off, with candles, beautiful sounds and meditation were exactly the right things needed to kick of the event.

There were so many wonderful activities that surrounded the event. Just to name a few, the mindfulness colouring station allowed people to take a break and get creative. The gratitude tree was a hit as people lined up to write what they were thankful for on leaves sticky notes and then pasted on to the tree. By the end of the day the tree was full and it was such a beautiful reminder to be appreciative of all the wonderful things that we have from friends and family to coffee of course! Betty Bubbles added so much brightness to the day, with so many kids wandering around with colorful faces. What I thought was so special though was how she was able to get so many adults involved as she added colour to their day allowing them connect with their inner child and get creative! Betty is not just a face painter she’s a life lover! Upstairs in the penthouse, we had the selfies booth with fantasy image backdrop inspiring us to dream in magical vibes. The selfies booth came with empowering prop sticks to remind all the guests that they are beautiful, confident, amazing, resilient and awesome!

This year we’re having something new which is the Resilience and Recovery panel discussion brought to us by Strive and Thrive and Open Up Podcast. Norita selected these panel speakers; Lachlan Samuel Mariu, Cat Corin, Marlies Loescher, Lisa Giddon and Thomas Marlow based on each area (Men’s Mental Health, Chronic Pain, Domestic Abuse, Suicide Victim Family, LGBT) which she believed needs to be highlighted. WOW where to begin, I think it’s safe to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Each of them shared their inspiring stories on how anxiety, depression, stress and challenging emotions and situations/conditions have affected them. More importantly, they shared how they got over their struggles and overcome their challenges giving the audience advice and tips and tricks as well as a sense of power that we can overcome anything that comes our way. Norita finished off the panel segment by asking all the panel speakers what was their one key strategy which they can give the audience to take home with. Grounding (Lachlan’s), daily creativity (Cat’s), pet therapy (Marlies’s), keep swimming like Dory (Lisa’s), self-acceptance (Thomas’s). One word to sum it up… INSPIRATIONAL.

Strive and Thrive were so grateful for all of our beautiful speakers that gave such empowering, informative and inspiring presentations! Which ones did you get to see? Usha Raman kicked off the speaker’s room with her inspirational speech on “Mindfulness Made Easy.” The room was full with just about every chair taken and I felt like Usha was the ideal person to speak on this topic as she spoke with such ease and confidence.  She engaged the audience, asking questions and making them think outside the square. I really enjoyed her talk as she reminded us how we can still be mindful throughout our busy lives. One of my favourite things she said was that “You can be mindful and have a personality at the same time” showing that being mindful is just an extension of who we are. Next presenters were Bernice Smith and Gigi Waters who are Access Bars® practitioners and facilitators. They were a greatl team as they shared their personal stories and you could just tell how passionate they were about Access Consciousness and how it saved their lives. They completed a mini session with an audience member, showing how it all worked and how it can erase limitations and blocks that we may have in our lives. The audience member had only the most positive things to say as they joked “we didn’t pay him to say that!”

Janice Chan is the principal chiropractor from The Spine Studio, so I was super interested to hear her chiropractic advice on “Reducing Stress in all Areas of your Life”. She shared her personal story from the age of 14 when she decided to be a chiropractor based on what was happening to her as well as some family members. I was blown away with her knowledge on how stress can impact our lives mentally but also physically and how 75% of us experience body stress.  Janice made me think about stress differently and how it can also be a good thing if we know how to manage them effectively.

Bridgit Cray of Bridgit Gloria is a Holistic Counsellor and Energy Practitioner who presented on “Finding your Peaceful Heart.” I love how she presented with so much love and peace. She shared her own journey of searching and emptiness, where she felt her life was stripped of everything. However “through a journey of self-discovery” she found her inner peace and found her gift of healing. Bridgit’s advice on how to discover inner peace, finding the, “desire to find the real you!”. I personally loved her peaceful attitude and how she made it all seem so simple with her reminders that “life is just one adventure after the other,” and “we just are.” Simple yet so effective.

I was super excited to finally get to see the backbone behind Strive and Thrive, the inspiring Norita Omar. After working with her for months, I already knew she was something special but I couldn’t wait to hear her story on ‘Resilience of a Chronic SuperHero’. Norita shared her personal story of falling off the stage at work which had her diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. How that brain injury changed her life drastically and how through her struggles of anxiety and depression led to her suicidal tendencies. And more importantly how she had found HOPE on the last minute prior to her suicide attempt. Through her recovery, she later was challenged again when Christchurch, NZ where she was living back then was hit with an earthquake. The injuries from that earthquake was another add on to her chronic pain which she had been living with till today. Hearing her stories of repeated traumas, there were definitely tears in the room. But it is so inspiring to see how a person like her could strive through all her challenges and still thrive into the person she is today. Also on how losing her friend to suicide created this wonderful platform called Strive and Thrive. She claimed that it is not easy but she realised now how her story which she thought was shameful can actually help people. This is why I believe Strive and Thrive is such an amazing platform because, at its core, it is real and raw.

Norita engaged with the audience in such a unique way that she is able to connect with everyone so we felt safe and happy to open up. There were few ladies who responded openly to her questions and share their struggles. Then came activities like the Thank you song allowed us to thank ourselves for something we had done for ourselves. Sometimes we get too busy that we forgot to acknowledge and thank ourselves for the beautiful things we do for ourselves to remind us how much we need to love ourselves first. Of course, there was the BOM BOM activity, a crowd favourite that had everyone up dancing and letting go. That activity is to let the audience experience on how our physiology impacts our psychology. Simple activities like this were such important reminders that we can all be resilient in our everyday lives. Norita’s story on how she overcome her darkest days was such an eye-opener to me. She made me feel strong, she reminded me to be grateful and she reminded me to thank myself for getting up each day and putting one foot in front of the other. Norita embraced everyone with such warmth and energy that when we left the room we felt empowered, we felt “flawsome” and we felt ready to tackle the world. I felt so lucky that I got to experience Norita’s real, raw and resilient presentation.

We were so lucky to have international relationship coach and author Dave Crispin from Valere Coaching with Intent who presented ‘How Marshmallow’s Can Save Your Marriage.’ Dave spoke with such power and conviction; he had the whole room listening to every word he was saying. I found his speech influential and informative as he shared how “strong marriages are not built in the past” and how it is what you put into it every day. As I looked around the audience were nodding to everything he said and I think it made a lot of people reflect on their own marriages.

The lovely Linda Ruiter-Dawson from Inner Sparkle Holistic Beauty was next as she presented ‘Transforming Stress with Heartfulness.’ I absolutely loved Linda’s speech as it felt real and raw and I could tell she was truly presenting from the heart. Linda spoke about how true beauty radiates from our inner sparkle and she informed the audience through breathing exercises that brought attention to our heart. She stated, “we are compassion, we are love, we are the answers to our own questions.” which made me feel reassured and I left filled with love for not only others but also myself.

This year we were super lucky to have Perth radio and tv personality Kate Mac who presented on the Power of Intuition. It is safe to say that Kate’s speech blew me away. She opened up about her so-called ‘perfect life’, where she thought she had everything, the perfect job, husband and overall perfect life. However, although it looked perfect on the outside, she was avoiding her intuition and that gut feeling and was then struggling with constant questioning and mental breakdowns. She spoke about how she got to have a taste of that ‘perfect’ world but realized “I don’t want it!” In 5 years she turned her life around by finally listening to her intuition and she is now able to say, “I’m proud of myself and I wake up every day and love my life.” With her inspiring story, Kate shared with us on how our intuition worked how it’s actually working 5-10 years ahead of us and that if we are not where we thought we would be then THAT IS OK!

Did you get to see Lina Scott’s from Bodytalk Connects presentation on ‘How to Reset Your Health with Bodytalk’? Lina is a Bodytalk practitioner and I was interested in hearing about how Bodytalk works. Lina spoke about how our bodies are damaged from stress and like an iceberg; our subconscious mind is unable to reach the surface. She informed us however how Bodytalk creates a connection with life above water and hits the reset button. Lina took the audience through a simple activity showing how simple it is to help start a change in our lives. Lina spoke with such care and compassion and proved how Bodytalk “can bring everything to the conscious mind.” The day ended with Jungle Body with Natasha and wow what an experience. I was in the first-timers club and was super eager to see what she had in store for us. The tables and chairs were moved to the sides and the lights went off and the music began. Natasha mixed dance and exercise together with fun and it had the whole room in a fit of laughter and smiles. She made it a safe place where we didn’t have to be perfect and it was ok to be silly and I LOVED every minute of it.

Can’t get enough of our Positive Life Expo and Workshops?

Then join us for our upcoming Resilience Retreat!

Norita Words’ of Gratitude

First I like to thank The Universe for sending me all the help which I needed to pull through this event. I had numerous major challenges prior to the event and for some reason, I stayed calm as I know that the Universe has got my back! To my mentees, interns and event team: Adora-Jane Bonadeo, Carly Durante, Sheryl Tang, Lorraine Keating and Sherree Nichols; thank you so much for shining your light alongside with me for this event. I’m so proud of you guys for performing from the heart and it makes me more proud that even the sponsors and event attendees complimented what an awesome team I have! 

A huge thank you to all the Sponsors for coming together with me in creating this inspirational heart-based event. I am so extremely proud that we are all there with a genuine intention of providing value and assistance. 

List of exhibitors: Janice Chan – The Spine Studio Kim March – Bio Energetic Wellness Bernice Smith and Gigi Waters – Access Consciousness Bridgit Cray – Bridgit Gloria Dave Crispin – Valere Coaching with Intent Lina Scott – Body talk Connects Gaynor Rowlands – Clear Intentions Tanya Dodd – Inner Origin Usha Raman – Tall Oak Simone G – JuicePlus Melissa Goh – Mixing it with Mel Leela G – NuSkin Leanne Scott – Nutritional Therapy Association Linda Ruiter-Dawson – Inner Sparkle Holistic Beauty Elke Blight – Abundant Wholeness Jenny Parke & Sarah Meier – Health and Wellness with Jen Linda M. Blackshaw – Linda M. Blackshaw Michele Castle – Complete Feng Shui Deborah Roberts – HealthyGo Lightly Katrina Seed – Brain Seed Skye Stevenson – Evolved Lovers Cat Cronin – Cat Cronin Artist Shona Tomlinson – About Healing Dear and Sujit – Juice Station AU and EF International Language Campuses Perth.

Thank you to our lovely volunteers who gave up their Saturday to come and assist us with our event. Especially those who actually had to go to work after before or after our event! And not forgetting, thank you to our wonderful MC Jolene Chin and Co-MC Justine Peovitis.

Event Volunteers: Anne Hetherington, Edna Bonadeo, Sandra Clarke, Trish Aitchison, Tara Sykes, Keely Duffield, Candyce Murrell, Yun Choi, Pepita Sharp, Letty Craig, Marlies Loescher, Lachlan Samuel, Katie Needham, Juliet Murray

And a big Thank you to House of Wings and their angels for gracing our event with their beautiful angels who floated around the event giving our attendees beautiful affirmations. Angels: Jade Roberts, Hannah Cavanagh, Emma Coffey, Mya  Grieve, Sairra-Jayne, Jasmine Clarke, Taylor Lee, Kayley Pereira, Emerson Mccloy

To all businesses who donated door prizes, thank you for your generosity which indeed brought a lot of happiness and smiles that day.

Door prize sponsors Abundant Wholeness, Animal Soul Photography, About Healing, Annette Stanton, Bridgit Gloria, Bio-Energetic Wellness, Blissful Massage, Creative Symmetry, Lighthouse Photography, Evolved Lovers, Stephanie McCurdy, Goals with Stace, Intention Nurture, Linda M Blackshaw, Jetts Balcatta, Nutrition Farmacy, Smittens Cosmetic, The Green Naturopath, The Spine Studio, Thrive Experiences, Relish Gourmet, Running on Real Food and Superfeast.

To Simona Sergi from Simona’s Photography, a heartful Thank You for capturing all these wonderful memories and for gracing us with your cheerful positive vibes! 

And finally, a juicy THANK YOU to my amazing partner, Shaun Nunn who has been my rock and strongest believer in me making a positive difference to this world we’re living. Also, thank you for putting up with me being so busy that I couldn’t tidy up the house for many weeks hehehe!

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Carly is a 4th year student at Curtin University where she has studied Mass Communications and is now completing a Marketing Major. She is currently interning with Strive and Thrive to gain experience working with social media and marketing. She has a passion in marketing but also loves helping people and promoting positivity. Carly has hobbies in drawing, creative writing and reading. Carly considers her family and friends to be very important and loves celebrating and living a joyful life with them by her side.

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