IT’S FUNNY WHO you meet on your travels. Especially in dorm rooms where the Universe, with its playful sense of humour, brings strangers together from different walks of life.
I met the next guest on my interview series of #reid2write in a hostel in Taganga, Colombia in 2014. She had just been mugged. On top of that she had also just recovered from contracting dengue fever. In summary, she wasn’t in a very happy place!
A typical backpacker conversation followed, hopping across a range of different topics until one caught our mutual interest, namely Neil Strauss and the pick-up industry.
Speaking with my new roommate, I could tell there was something different about her. She seemed driven in finding ways to improve her life situation despite recent hard knocks and after exchanging details, (“Cebulla, spelt like the Spanish for onion, except with a U”) we went our separate ways the next day.
I’ve since followed her journey from afar through Facebook, where she posts some very raw and honest accounts of her own life. I highly suggest checking out this harrowing piece on her meth addiction and recovery.
So without further ado, here is Alison Cebulla, Life Coach and Certified Health Coach.
Hi Alison! Nice easy opener for you – In one sentence, what is your personal mission statement?
End suffering, enjoy life, stay curious, and savour beauty. I know lists of 3 are sexier but I have 4.
Can you tell us briefly about your ayahuasca experiences?
I have done it twice so far and I know there will be more to come. The first time I went in with a very specific question about second chakra health issues I’d been having.
In 2011 I had surgery for cervical pre-cancer and I used to experience chronic infections. After taking the medicine, the answer came so clearly to me, like a lightening bolt. The medicine said to me, “do you even believe in life?” And I realized how much cynicism was still in me, despite years of work on it!
As an environmental studies major in university, we were taught that humans are bad for the Earth. And it suddenly hit me that how can humans be bad? We exist! We are a miracle! How can we be anything other than perfect? It’s not as though I think we should all just stop recycling and build more coal power plants…we still need to be good stewards. But I was carrying like this global shame for all of humanity, maybe passed down from my Catholic side of the family. And I just let that go. My second chakra physical issues healed right up! They went from chronic to non-existent in one night!
What is orgasmic meditation?!
Orgasmic meditation is so good. You can find out all about it on OneTaste’s website. My lifecoach introduced me to it in 2014. I hired her because I went to one of her fun flirty dating events (eye-gazing) and men were getting flirty with me and I felt SO uncomfortable. I knew it didn’t have to be that way so I hired her as my coach like right there on the spot. She seemed so comfortable with holding space for sexual energy in her body.
I did not have that. It turns out she had gone through the OneTaste coaching program and had been directing their NYC operations for many years. She had long since left that organization but I still reaped the benefits of all that she had learned. The program teaches trust, intimacy, communication, body presence, how to receive and experience pleasure. It’s great—I think everyone should learn this technique!
What’s the biggest leap you’ve made outside your comfort zone and what did you learn?
Cold showers for 30 days!! I started in 2013 and have been taking cold showers ever since! If you google 30 day cold shower challenge you’ll see a lot of bloggers promote this as a way to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Then 2 years ago I took a workshop with Iceman Wim Hof and got comfortable holding my breath under ice water!
Who and what inspires you?
I like people who are honest and authentic. I enjoy following/reading/listening to/watching Rich Roll, James Altucher, Brene Brown, and Elizabeth Gilbert. These people are real!
My parents and brother continually inspire me. They have such integrity in everything they do but also big hearts. They always strive to be their best. I feel lucky to have been born into this family.
I post my favourite quotes every day to my Instagram: @coffee_and_kindness. My favourite one lately has been one by Sufi poet Rumi: “When I say the word ‘you,’ I mean a hundred universes.”
Right now my favourite song is Miike Snow’s Genghis Khan. Just cannot even get enough of that track.
My favourite movie is and always has been Little Women (1994), staring my favourite Irish actor, Gabriel Byrne! I watch it at least once or twice a year.
A book I just finished that moved me in a big way is Presence by Amy Cuddy. It’s all about body language and how that shapes how we are perceived by ourselves and others. Everyone needs to go out and read this book immediately! I’ve been trying out her suggestions and noticing big time results! Right after finishing her book, I was at a dance party and someone just randomly told me that I seemed like a confident person…strangers don’t normally just come up to me and tell me that so…the book really works!
Do you believe in goal setting and if so, what’s on your 2016 ‘To-Do’ List?
Yes, I believe in it! I need defined goals in my life, otherwise I just sort of sit around. This year I gave up sugar and added sweeteners. Like, 100%: gone! It’s been fun.
How do you de-stress?
I don’t get stressed any more. I meditate every day and if I forget to, I can see the stress wanting to come back so I get myself back on the mat. Yoga is great too. So is running. I’m a long distance runner.
Finally, craziest thing you’ve ever done, seen or experienced?
Ah ha ha ha ha. I have lived a CRAZY life. There are some things best kept to oneself, for the sake of mystery.
What is something that your clients or colleagues might not know about you?
I used to perform musical theatre! One time I played a singing and dancing nun in a musical called Nuncrackers. That was about 6 years ago and I don’t see myself ever getting back on stage for that kind of thing.
Alison can be found on the following channels:
image attribution – alisoncebulla.com