Staying raw and real with conscious mumma, Abbylee Bonny
H + H Lifestyle (health and happiness) gives us all the tools we need to live healthily and happily. Daily body movement, raw foods, gratitude, self-care, mindfulness, conscious consumption, connection, and contribution are at the core of the H + H philosophy, and so too is perspective and balance in this crazy world.
Abbylee Bonny, the legend behind H + H Lifestyle, is exactly the type of person the world needs more of. She's raw, real and is doing her best to navigate the world between being a conscious consumer, living a healthy lifestyle, and running a family, all whilst motivating those around her to raise their vibration and be the best versions of themselves they truly can be.
We sat down with the lady herself to learn more about what lights her up, and why she does what she does.
What made you start H + H Lifestyle?
After spending the majority of my teen and adult life following diets and strict lifestyles I really just wanted to be me and to lead a happy and healthy life. Through a lot of personal development, I started to understand my beliefs and values and came up with a philosophy that revolved around eight lifestyle practices: Wholefoods, Gratitude, Daily Body Movement, Mindfulness, Conscious Consumption, Connection (to self, others, and nature), and Self Care.
The main idea being that how we each practice these will be different depending on what makes us individually feel healthy and happy. For example, doing yoga, eating all the vegetables and journaling might make me feel fabulous, but boxing, eating a mixture of meat and veges, and practicing gratitude while taking a shower might be someone else's version of the same principles. I started H + H to connect and empower others, particularly women, to lead a lovely life they love (slower and simpler) and feel confident in doing so.
How did you first come across ethical fashion/conscious consumerism/sustainable living?
Wow. Let me start off by saying I haven't always thought of living the way I currently do. I think a lot of it started after traveling in France and Thailand then coming home and studying Holistic Nutrition and doing my Yoga Teacher Training. I created a beautiful friendship with a lovely woman who is now my sister in law. I also thought her brother was quite lovely. Twyla (@beingwell_) and her family have taught me a lot. So I've been practicing living a more conscious lifestyle for the last five or so years now.
What has been the most challenging part since you began embracing this type of lifestyle?
I would say the hardest part is not getting lost because when you start sometimes it feels like it’s never enough. I always try to encourage people to find two things they are passionate about, it might be saying no to plastic bags and using natural cleaning products. Then once these things fit seamlessly into your life, add another one like buying clothing made of natural fibers and when you don't have to think about that, add another one. So when you find yourself overwhelmed always remind yourself of this and take it back a step.
You have the most beautiful little man Cassius. Has it been challenging teaching him to live more mindfully? Are there any tips you can give to other mumma's?
Awww thank you so much. He really is so cool. I truly believe children are here to teach us, he loves nature and wants to care for it, people and animals - it's like innately we want to care then along the way we get caught up in day to day things like paying bills and having a new dress for a party and we lose our priorities. We forget about the beautiful, simple childlike mindset of caring and presence. In a more practical way I think doing things with our children is so important. Cas helps me sort out the recycling and take it to the side of the road; we talk about the importance of looking after others, Mother Earth and ourselves.
What or who inspires you to do what you do on a daily basis?
Cas inspires me to do better every day. The future of the world weighs heavy on my shoulders, more than I think it should. I worry about what my grandchildren will have to deal with so I make simple changes to positively impact the world (without stressing myself out too much).
I loooove what you’re doing here, making it easier for people to shop and live more consciously is so cool. Also mumma’s of the salty slow movement like @vanessa_prosser, @tessguinery really get me excited about living the simple life.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
“Breathe.” This feels really relevant to me all the time, I swear in every moment, happy or overwhelming, I feel like a slow, long and strong deep belly breath is gonna do you the world of good.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
Yes! The first thing I do is take my temperature (fertility awareness method), then I make the bed. Oh, I love a beautifully made bed! Next, it’s into the bathroom to scrape my tongue and brush my teeth then it’s downstairs to make Cas his breakfast and have my water and lemon essential oil.
How do you define success?
Success for me is and caring for myself, others, and our planet.
One book everyone should read? Why?
Oh there’s too many! I love The Prophet. I feel like every time you read it you’ll get something different.
For those reading this who are inspired to make a change today in their own world, what do you recommend they begin with? Where should they start?
Choose one or two things that you're passionate about—reducing plastic and buying from your local bulk food store, starting a compost bin or committing to only buying clothing you love and want to wear over and over again, etc. It could be anything, just let it be something that makes you feel proud and once just fits into your day to day then add something else! Also don’t be too hard on yourself, if you buy something that’s wrapped in plastic, that’s totally ok, it’s not a sign to throw in the towel and stop caring, that just makes you human.
What is one thing people can do today to help protect the environment for tomorrow?
Start. Start with what you know and have right now. By starting, by doing anything, you are helping. Don’t forget that!
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think we should all know about?
Oh, I have a bunch of beautiful ethical fashion labels I buy, love and wear saved on my gram! I’m actually always looking for inspiration myself! I’m so looking for this movement to grow!