Wise Words: Bohemian Musings

Today marks the beginning of a new monthly segment on My Smiling Heart, in which I interview inspiring, passionate, and creative women about how they are following their bliss and living a positive life.

Our first amazing guest couldn’t be more fitting of this description!

Jessika Gilker is a Free Spirit who spends her time taking pictures, doing yoga on the beach and travelling off the beaten path in her quest to live a full authentic life. She lives in Greece where her and her husband run Fresko, a Juice Bar on the Beach.

I know, AWESOME, right? πŸ˜€

I discovered Jess’ blog, Bohemian Musings, only a few weeks ago, but I’ve already been so inspired by her journey and wisdom, I just had to ask her to be the first My Smiling Heart interviewee!

What encouraged you to start Bohemian Musings?

I started Bohemian Musings in the New Year on a whim, wanting to learn more about the world of Information Technology, as well as explore my Passion for writing and photography.

I soon realized that starting this blogging journey was opening me up to a whole new world of personal growth. The reasons that motivate me now to continue this journey are:

  • I want to Challenge myself on a whole new level and expose my Thoughts, Feelings and Inspirations for the world to see. Being vulnerable is scary but can teach you so much about yourself. I’m introspective by nature. I spend a lot of time with my thoughts in my head and tend to share them only with my closest entourage. So this is a way to set those thoughts free.
  • Since I’ve chosen to live an Unconventional life by society’s standards and have found success and happiness on my personal journey, I hope I can help others see that it’s not out of their reach either. Meeting really cool, like-minded individuals (like yourself) is an added bonus of being a blogger.

Do you know what things you need to do on a regular basis in order to maintain your happiness? What are they?

Keeping my body, mind and spirit balanced is what leads to my happiness. Attaining that balance requires me to be conscious in all areas of my life as not one thing makes me whole but several together. They are:

Yoga is my salvation, it keeps me centered and in the present moment, while laughing and being around the people I love is what makes it worthwhile.

Writing, photography and design are what I need to do regularly to let my creative energy free and being curious and learning keeps my life fresh and exciting.

My strong interest in nutrition and my vegetarian lifestyle keep me healthy and ready to pursue my frequent adventures even if it’s exploring something on my doorstep that I’ve never seen before.

Making sure to spend time alone each day to reconnect with my thoughts allows me to be rejuvenated and ready for whatever life throws at me.

What advice would you give to someone who is going through a challenging time?

Don’t give up. Challenges, fear, and self-doubt are all part of the journey.

Roadblocks are placed strategically on our path to see just how badly we want something. If you persevere you will succeed.

Instead of viewing obstacles negatively, and allowing them to stop you from your goals, ask yourself what lesson you can gain from what is happening. As long as you are following your passions and being true to yourself you will make it. Remember, that those who fail and quit, are usually just around the corner from turning their dreams to reality.

Why do you think it is so important that we make our own paths in life rather than follow the paths of others?

Following anyone else’s path in life except your own will only lead to misery because it means ignoring your inner voice.

I tried it by wearing a white lab coat and studying bacteria, but it quickly ate away at my being until there was no other solution but to accept that this was not for me. Instead of ignoring what was left of my soul, I chose to listen to its cries.

My intuition served me well, and I was soon on my way to a dream internship doing research on Loggerhead Sea Turtles in a small village I never heard of in a country that I had never really given much thought. The next 6 months gave me time to reflect and realize where and what I wanted to be and following my inner voice has led me to achieving more than I could have ever imagined.

We weren’t created to follow others. We all have unique talents that we need to share. The universe wants to help us achieve our dreams but we must first believe in ourselves.

If we spent less time comparing ourselves to others and more time realizing that being unique is a blessing, something to be cultivated and then taken and served to the world as we see fit then we could all be happy on our own unique paths.

What has creating your own path in life taught you most?

If you can Dream it, you can do it.

Any goal, or dream that I have pursued with all my heart, strength and courage, I have achieved. Some have come easy, others have tested every last ounce of power from my being, but through hard work and perseverance, they have become a reality. I also learned that I was much more strong than I gave myself credit for and to always trust my intuition.

What wise words do you live by?

Live. Love. Laugh. Three simple words that individually hold such a strong message. They are the three ingredients to a happy and successful life.

What is something you are really proud of?

I’m really proud that I had the strength and courage to know that I had to choose my own way from an early age. I’m happy I went to University and tried the career route early on, so that there are no doubts in my head about which is best for me. I’m proud to be living my journey on my own terms.

Professionally speaking, Fresko, my Juice Bar in Greece is a joint effort of creativity and love that my husband and I have made a reality and I’m real proud of our success.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? Who gave it to you?

I was lucky to have a very wise and supportive father, who was also a free spirit in his own right.

He always made me believe that I could achieve anything, and that no dream was crazy as long as it’s what I really wanted and worked hard to attain it. He instilled great confidence within me and gave me space to make my own decisions from a very young age.

He set me on the path to think for myself and I surely would not be where I am today without such a great influence.

What are you most grateful for?

My life. My family. Being a Generalist (Jack of all Trades) has opened me up to so many opportunities and has helped to push me in the direction I am in today. If I didn’t have the ability to be passionate about 101 things at the same time (Yes, it’s normal), then I would not be where I am. My passions lead me to more passions and in turn to adventures that have opened door after door in my life.

How do you want to inspire people?

My hope is that if someone can find one positive or inspiring message or idea from something I have written or experienced and can add it to their own life and it allows them to take a step closer to a goal or dream then that would make me happy.

Life is so short and so beautiful, I just want to inspire people to open their eyes and take a deep breath and really see what’s around them, then LIVE, but according to their own rules.

What makes your heart smile?

So many simple things πŸ™‚ Sunrises, yoga on the beach, a good book, bird’s singing, the exhilaration in discovering a new place through Travel, my husband’s laughter, Broadway, my Spaniel, Murt and Harry my rescued cats from Croatia, inspiring blogs, music, bright colors, vegetarian/vegan restaurants, Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Champagne, Sunsets and the list goes on and on….

Join Jessika on her Journey at Bohemian Musings, where she blogs about her thoughts and inspirations on how to live an Unconventional life straight to your dreams. Follow her on Twitter @bohemianmusings.

Hope you enjoyed the first My Smiling Heart interview!

Keep Smiling! πŸ˜€

Jen β™₯

*A big THANK YOU to each and every one of you! Because of you, I reached my goal of making it to 50 fans on the My Smiling Heart facebook page by my 24th Birthday! You ROCK! πŸ˜€

*Did you see my guest post on The Mad To Live? I was asked to write about what I would say in a message in a bottle – so much fun! πŸ˜€ Check it out here!

*Another big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Friday’s ‘Share The Love, Share Your Links’ event on the facebook page, it was so AWESOME learning more about all of you through your blogs – looking forward to doing it all again this Friday! πŸ˜€

12 responses to “Wise Words: Bohemian Musings

  1. Jessika and Jen – you two are some of the coolest most inspiring women I have ever met! I love this series. I could probably write a blog post in addition to this interview as you shared so many awesome things here Jess, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. πŸ™‚

    I really loved what you said about what makes your ‘heart smile’. Lately more than ever I’ve been paying attention to the truly simple things that make me happy – the small moments that add up into big moments. For instance, today I was driving around and it was sunsetting, one of my favorite songs came on as I was driving over the bridge and I could see the ocean from the top. It was one of those perfect moment.

    Oh and your Juice Bar – as I said before – I’ll see you out there someday πŸ™‚ I love mangos by the way! haha

    Jen – These questions were awesome. This was a great interview that dug a lot deeper and was much more geared at being inspiring and interesting rather than just boring information. I loved it! Thanks for doing this!

    Keep writing and inspiring Jess!
    – Laur πŸ™‚

  2. Laur,

    You already know how I feel about you by all the comments I flood your amazing posts with. πŸ˜€

    When I was younger I thought I had to be wild and seek those adrenaline rushing experiences to find happiness.
    It wasn’t until much later that I opened my eyes and started to realize that beauty and happiness are always accessible not in the extreme experiences of life but around me at every moment of the day, rain or sunshine.

    When I first arrived in Greece 5 years ago, I couldn’t believe the slow pace of life. I found it so hard to adjust, but over the next few months of living in a tent in a olive grove with my fellow Sea Turtle researchers, I became one with that simplicity until I could not fathom letting go and returning to the hectic Canadian City that was waiting for me.

    So, I didn’t. And it has saved my soul πŸ™‚

    Thanks Laur πŸ™‚


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  4. Thank you Jessika for this great post, (and Jen for interviewing!) Your life inspires me because I am in the process of re-designing my life in order to follow my dreams. I like how you said we aren’t created to follow others. I have always ‘felt’ that way, but it has taken me a long journey to ‘live’ that way.
    I am phasing out of my current job (and succession of draining jobs…) and my dream is to study holistic nutrition – this desire has been in my heart for 10 years, and only now am I beginning to follow it. And yes, there are a lot of road blocks, but I want it bad! And I’m going for it!
    Thank you for the encouragement!

    • Hi Leah,

      The most important thing is that your are taking the steps to living the life You want. Let your dreams free into the universe so that they can become a reality.
      Holistic Nutrition is a passion of mine too that I live by but I want to explore more deeply one day through study, so I wish you well on that journey.
      This is such an exciting time for you as you are about to embark on your true path in life and I’m so happy you shared your story with me and I look forward to hearing about your success in the Nutrition world πŸ™‚


  5. What a great interview! Such an inspiring post. I must say that it was so perfectly written and really spoke to me. Thank you Jessika and Jen!

    • Hi Kristie,

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m happy you could relate to what I had to say πŸ™‚

      The questions Jen decided to ask were all very thought provoking and involved a great deal of contemplation. I suggest everyone should try to answer them for themselves. You will be surprised how much you learn about what is inside your soul and what you really want.


  6. I love this Jen and Jessika.

    Jessika – Your journey has already inspired me. I feel whenever I read your blog, I’m sitting there in the sand with you, merely chatting away as old friends.

    This is something I’ve been exploring lately: “Instead of viewing obstacles negatively, and allowing them to stop you from your goals, ask yourself what lesson you can gain from what is happening.”

    It is something I’ve continually found on my yoga mat and now zooming out to see it in my life. In order to live the life of our Truth and not anyone else’s, I believe transforming our so-called obstacles into an observance of something being revealed to us, is something so important. Thank you for plucking that out of the ether and bringing it to this page.


    • Hi Quinn πŸ™‚

      Many of the things I see so clearly now in my life I first learned on my mat through my Yoga Journey.
      I can honestly say that changing your point of view in regards to obstacles or difficulties in general is the most important thing one can do.
      5 years ago when I decided I did not want to return to life in Canada, it took some really crafty thinking for me to remain in Greece since I’m not part of the European Union.
      If I did not apply the principle of looking for the lesson in obstacles to my life then, I would have given up and not fulfilled my true desires and be running Fresko in Greece. πŸ™‚
      Your on the right journey to retrieving your soul Quinn.


  7. Great interview Jess and Jen,

    A very inspiring read, I especially like those 3 words to live by :
    “Live. Love. Laugh. Three simple words that individually hold such a strong message. They are the three ingredients to a happy and successful life.”

    Jess I keep on getting that same message from you that I need to laugh more, and you are so right. I’m trying…

  8. Hey Dave,

    Good to see you here πŸ™‚

    I’m happy you are getting that message. We all need to Laugh more. I truly believe that.
    So keep trying hard and I want a report from you by the end of 2011 on Laughter had changed your life. πŸ˜€


  9. Pingback: 12 Ways To Amplify Positivity « Bohemian Musings

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