We’ve all come across them, even if just in the virtual world: People who follow their passion and live their dream. Some even do so in Bali – honestly, that’s a bit like the icing on the cake!
But what is it really like to make your dream come true? Jewellery designer Christina Zipperlen, founder of Ananda Soul Creations, transformed her life in a truly inspiring way – we’ve asked her to share some tips, strategies and inspiration:
- You seem to be living the dream life on a tropical island. How did you make it happen and what inspired you?
Yes I do feel I am living my dream. But I don’t think it has anything to do with living on a tropical island. Inspiring people to live their dreams is a big topic for me and a big focus of my work. And what I keep noticing over and over that the location really has pretty much nothing to do with that. What matters is what we do with what we have at hand. We can have a dream life right here, right this moment. As far as my personal story of ending up living in Bali goes, it was a matter of following my intuition. The moment I landed I knew that this was home. And the rest fell into place. I’ve had that feeling in other places before – Honolulu, Barcelona, Perth and now Bali. I feel blessed to have such a strong (or rather unignorably loud) voice inside me that you can call intuition or inner guidance or whatever other name you’d like to call it. And yes when it comes to me, living here in Bali is my dream life and I am beyond grateful for the island and its people embracing me with such warmth.
- How did you find out what was your passion, and what gave you the strength to follow your dreams?
It feels like my passion found me. I’ve always been an artist and expressing myself visually is the most natural form of expression. Hence I studied graphic design and visual communication, fine arts, and jewellery making. I also have been practicing and studying yoga for about a decade now which has influenced me in following my passions and really listening to my heart. I certainly believe that coming close to death at age 14 and losing my mother at age 18 really made me wake up to the fact that this life is precious. Something happened that made it impossible for me to stay stagnant or give in to fears or insecurities – it’s like a really loud voice in me that calls me to stay in integrity with my dreams, values and passions. It can be uncomfortable at times but is always, always worth it in the end.
- Do you have any tips for people who are afraid of changing their lives to pursue their passion?
I’ve been very passionate about working with the law of attraction – in its essence to become aware of our emotions as reflections of whether we are on the right track or not. It takes some practicing – I recommend getting into listening to or reading Esther Hicks. There is a lot of material out there so really whatever resonates. Abraham talks a lot about finding the next best emotion – just making a small improvement. That makes it a lot less scary sounding to ‘change your life’ – you just tune in and see how you feel about a certain activity / fact / person in your life and see how you can raise your own attitude / decisions to feel slightly better about the situation. It means that you are giving yourself credit for being right about how you feel and that you deserve to feel better in the situation. The next day you improve again more in the direction of how you wish to feel.
It’s like when people ask me how I came up with the courage to leave my home and country at age 19 and set up a home in 4 different continents…and to be honest it sounds HUGE when you put it like that and no way would I have had the courage as the teenager I was. All I did was listening to my strong sense of wanting to study abroad for 3 months and booking a flight to Hawaii knowing I’d be picked up by a home-stay family… YES I was nervous but it felt doable. Do a little bit in the direction of your dreams. You owe it to the magnificence you were meant to live out in this lifetime. And it will be YOUR unique expression.
- Where do you find inspiration for new designs? Can you share some strategies that fuel creativity?
I constantly have ideas coming and I always carry a notebook to quickly sketch them down. They come when I’m connecting to nature, dance (you’ll often see me run off the dance floor to make quick sketches) meditate or am out and about. Once it’s time for a new collection I bring out my notebook and drop all other responsibilities for about two weeks and purely focus on creating a new collection.
- Has the style of your creations changed over time and do you have a favourite piece of jewelry?
My creations are an expression of my creativity so yes I do feel the style has changed over the years. I’m starting to be much more courageous in owning that I am a designer and have my own style. I let my creativity flow when I draw and only afterwards wonder who will wear it… I know that the perfect people who really feel the essence of my work will fall in love with my creations. Trusting that has changed the way I work.
- Where do you source the material for your creations?
Our silver is recycled silver from Bali. Most of our stones come from India from suppliers with ethical practices in their cutting facilities. Once you get into the depth of jewelry materials it can be quite disheartening to see how challenging it can be to find certified fair-trade materials. I am on a constant search for materials that are sourced in the most ethical ways possible. I am planning on traveling to India next year to visit the cutting facilities themselves and eventually want to make my way to the mines. In my new collection I will be working with 18kt gold and am currently sourcing fair trade gold for those creations. I am learning more and more about the gemstone and precious metal mining business and challenge myself at making a true difference in the nature of this business.
- It seems like you’re totally ‘zen’, but I’m sure even life as a jewellery designer in Bali can at times be stressful – what does your average day look like?
I’m currently refining my daily routine 🙂 I used to have a very good balance of yoga, meditation, designing, running the business and spending time with my friends. Since Ananda Soul Creations has been expanding in the last 1 1/2 years that balance has been thrown off for a little bit. So my current average day (with my recent ‘no-work-at-night’ rule) looks as follows:
5:30 get up for showering, oil pulling, skin brushing, warm ginger & turmeric water
6:45 Chai & plan my day
7:15 Yoga practice
8:00 my team arrives and we start our office day
12:00 lunch break and if I’m lucky a few moments of sitting in the sun
Afternoon of meetings, office and sometimes working out of a café in town which can be interrupted by social moments with my friends
6:00 Gym, listening to Michael Beckwith or Abraham Hicks
8:30 Restorative poses / journaling / meditating /skyping with friends
- Giving back is a fundamental part of your approach to business. Can you explain how the local community benefits through your work?
There are two ways in which we give back, well or maybe three. Firstly we donate 10% of our profit to the Safe Childhoods Foundation, an organization working against child trafficking in Indonesia. The second way we give back is by employing mothers of street children in the production of some of our bestselling items (for example our Malas, precious you bracelets, From the Heart bracelets and more to come in the new collection). And thirdly I am very close with my Balinese team of women making up the magic of Ananda – we have continuous communication about what it means to be beautiful, how we can support each other and believe in ourselves. This involves talking about topics like the 4 agreements, having meetings to support each other and having weekly yoga.
- Do you have a dream that hasn’t come true yet?
I think there will always be dreams I can come up with 🙂 Yes one of my dreams is for Oprah Winfrey and Louise Hay to love and wear my creations – these two incredibly powerful women are true inspirations and I love the self-love and compassion they radiate. And my life partner is yet to walk into my life 🙂
- What do you think is the most important question we should all ask ourselves?
What is my purpose in this life and in what way can I contribute in this world to make a true difference?
What are your dreams and who is inspiring you to follow your passion?
You can check out Christina’s creations here.