Today it is my total HONOUR to introduce you to Anne Dixon. My Canadian sister from another mister. My study buddy from back in our nutrition school days. She is all that I could wish for in a bestie, and then some. She is the most bookwormy person I ever met, and I sure love me some well read friends!
Anne gets super excited about all things food; if you have the blessing to meet her, bring her some really great olives and savour witnessing her enjoyment as she digs on in! You’ll get to see a similar response when she walks into a second-hand bookstore or explores beautiful graphic design in a new novel – it’s a delight when someone’s childlike enthusiasm pops up so easily and strongly, and Anne knows how to speak to that playful part within yourself.
I could write an 11-page essay on this woman’s bravery, creativity, skills and talent. I could share anecdotes of our (is it 5.5 years already?!) friendship and all the highs and lows we walked together. But I will let Anne wow you away herself, by her beautiful writing and her soul-warming smile:
What does it mean for you to Find a Home Within?
For me, creating a safe and cozy space within that I can call home anywhere is usually about having a few of my favourite cozy accoutrements nearby. I can pretty much make myself at home anywhere as long as I have the supplies necessary to make a cup of tea, my journal and a pen, whatever book I have on the go, and a giant scarf. Finding a home within is all about being able to create a bubble of comfort wherever I am.
How did you find your way to holistic living, was there something specific you were dealing with or learned about that opened your eyes to this approach?
I found my way to holistic living largely as a result of mental health issues I had been struggling with since I was an early teen – what I believe was a combination of anxiety, depression, and OCD. I was having a lot of difficulty focusing and succeeding in the demanding illustration program I was taking in college. During the summer after my first year in the program, I was feeling really conflicted about whether I wanted to return for second year or not. I was in a deep depression and was feeling very demotivated. But I had noticed some positive effects from incorporating some regular exercise and yoga in my day.
Around this time, I started to get quite interested plant-based eating (big thanks to My New Roots and Oh She Glows – they were and still are some of my favourite foodspirations) which I thought might be the next step in aiding my healing. I started to research programs I might be able to get into quickly, because I really did not want to be sitting on my butt come September while the rest of the world continued to move around me. In my research, I discovered the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. It’s where I spent the next year, learning new ways to care for myself and grow.
How did you get introduced to Essential Oils? Do you have any favourites, and how do you use them?
I’ve been aware of essential oils for a long time, having always been attracted to more natural scents and hot baths. But I became especially interested in essential oils when I started teaching yoga almost 3 years ago now. In my classes, I always try to incorporate elements of massage and aromatherapy during savasana. In my personal experience, gentle touch can really help soothe the anxiety that creeps up when we are trying to settle into moments of quiet and stillness.
What are 3 things other people might not know about you?
- I’ve been super fascinated by pregnancy since I was about 8-years-old. I would flip through copies of ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ lying around at doctor’s offices and relative’s houses.
- I am slightly obsessed with space. I spent a lot of my childhood wanting to grow up into an astronaut.
- I loooooove cilantro.
How are you supporting yourself as you transition into a new season? What practices do you include?
I always have a lot of trouble transitioning into spring. I really love the coziness of winter, and being able to bundle up in giant scarves and sweaters. So I’m taking it slow. I’m trying to get outside for a walk everyday, adding more raw veggies into my day, and doing some spring decluttering.
Do you have a favourite ritual you’d like to share about?
I tend to live life in a series of little rituals, but one of my current favourites is my morning routine. The order can vary depending on how I’m feeling that morning, but it usually looks something like this: chug a big glass of water, 30 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes of journaling, 10 minutes of meditation, and usually a green smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast. I love taking my time in the mornings, and having a bit of a slow start to help ease me into the day.
What are you most passionate about sharing with the world right now?
I currently work as a graphic designer and yoga instructor. This is such a joyful combination as it incorporates two of my life loves – I get to spend a large portion of my life exercising both my creative and my actual muscles! And I think that being able to work in these two fields fulfills what is probably my biggest passion of all: life optimization. It is one of my greatest pleasures to spend hours researching and incorporating new ways to improve and balance my family’s life. Lately, I’ve been particularly curious about minimalism and simple living, as well as personal finance. I love being able to share my learnings and life optimizations with my loved ones, and seeing them benefit from incorporating these changes in their own lives.
Can you share one tip which has been very impactful for you?
Start a daily gratitude practice. I like to list 3 – 5 things I’m feeling grateful for in my journal every day. It is really helpful in reframing your thinking, and is especially handy during times of high stress or other challenging moments because it helps to reshape your perspective of your reality. If writing doesn’t work for you, you can always silently list a few things in your head, or discuss them with a loved one.
Want more of Anne?
Dear Annie, you will always be the best wifey a lady could ask for. Thank you for making me snort laugh, for digging deeper, for allowing me to ask you the ‘difficult’ questions, for enjoying food porn excursions, for all the road trips, all the snow days, and cross-North America adventuring! I love you so, so much!