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? 😀
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 🙂 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! 😀
*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! 😀
*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! 😀 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! 😀