Alana Arvantis is a self love guru. Joyful and dedicated, she works to spread the message of self love, acceptance and empowerment to women across the nation.
As founder of the Self Love Movement, Ms Arvantis has cultivated a community of 2000 women who gather at monthly workshops and social gatherings dedicated to supporting their mental health.
The community has a presence both online and in person, with Ms Arvantis distributing a variety of resources to participants, including The Self Love Movement Podcast and the ‘Spring Into Self Love’ kit.
The ‘Spring Into Self Love’ kit is a collection of articles and self-help exercises written by Ms Arvantis that launched on September 1, and is promoted as a guide to building a self-care routine to support women throughout spring.
Ms Arvantis said overcoming the personal tragedy of her partner’s death a few years ago was what kick-started her mission to cultivate self love.
“The Self Love Movement is about community connection, empowerment, support, inspiration and love, and these were the things that I was lacking within my reality when I started it,” Ms Arvantis said.
“I knew how powerful self love was because that’s what transformed my life from complete darkness, death, grief and sadness to an incredible life that is full of magic and love and abundance,” she said.
“Self love to me became this this tool that transformed my life and I wanted to share that with other people with other women.”
The Self Love Movement hosts a two-hour workshops once each month featuring guest speakers who cover a variety of perspectives on self care, such as mindfulness of wealth, building careers from personal passion, and writing a journal.
“There is an abundance of different topics that we cover and they’re all based on something that people can take away and transform their lives with,” Ms Arvantis said.
“We have had health ones about hormones and gut health, we have had ones about self love and journaling.”
The Self Love Movement started on the Gold Coast and has since spread to Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne, where self love ambassadors help to keep the movement going.
Women with similar entrepreneurial qualities to Ms Arvantis are paid to work as self love ambassadors, chairing events Ms Arvantis cannot attend personally.
She said the ambassadors lightened her own workload and helped keep the movement running.
“A self love ambassador is a woman who wants to step up into leadership with me and I give them all the things I’ve learnt, all the back end stuff, the training manual, the agreements and then they take the movement to their community and then grow [it] there,” Ms Arvantis said.
She said the community aspect was a major part of her vision and said each event had an ambassador, a special guest speaker and an audience.
Brisbane’s most recent self love get together focused on the mindful aspects of money, such as personal definitions of wealth and how to deal with difficult choices surrounding finance.
Guest speaker Lea Schodel combined her expertise in the financial sector with creativity to present new perspectives on wealth.
For example, Ms Schodel discussed the benefits of deploying “intentional spending plans” rather than focussing on “creating budgets”, which she said she believed was restrictive and caused stress.
Ms Schodel also asked participants to do a drawing about money and then analysed the colours, symbolism and subject matter to get a better understanding of how each participant’s personal subconsciousness reacted to money.
“Lea guided everyone through this beautiful journey through discovering your money story or money blocks with the use of creativity and art therapy, so it was like a beautiful creative exploration that we all went on to discover some things,” Ms Arvantis said.
“A lot of people found it was really fun and painful and a different way to look at money as there is some structure to it, you know, about values, what abundance is and those kind of things, but the art side of it was really, really good,” she said.
The Self Love Movement is open to women of all ages and encourages a supportive and comforting atmosphere.
Ms Arvantis said she made a decision early on to make The Self Love Movement an entirely female group in order to create a safe space where women could connect.
“It’s not saying that men are not safe, just a different vibe, so all ages, any women that wants to come and experience who they are and what self love is, is welcome,” Ms Arvantis said.
Brisbane’s self love ambassador, Amanda Vodic, is an entrepreneur and an advocate for the natural benefits of essential oils.
Ms Vodic found out about The Self Love Movement in a very contemporary way.
“I googled it,” she said.
“I have the entrepreneurial bug big time, and knew I wanted to create a platform that revolved around self-care, so I figured I’d see what other people were doing in this space,” Ms Vodicsaid.
“I also recognised that part of my recovery meant getting out of the office, away from the laptop, and really connecting with people in real life.”
Ms Vodic struggles with adrenal fatigue, a condition that stops the body from producing energy hormones, and one that lead her to taking a greater interest in the benefits of self care.
“The diagnosis was a wake up call,” she said.
“I realised that many areas of my life, not just my health, were suffering from this ‘work hard, put yourself last’ approach.”
“The day I decided nothing was worth sacrificing my health and relationships for was the first step on my self-love journey.”
Ms Vodic is a strong presenter who uses humor and personal stories to inspire attendees and give them something to think about.
“As we start our events I like to guide our group in a moment of deep belly breathing,” Ms Vodicsaid.
“It’s such a simple yet powerful technique to ‘calm our farms’ as it were!”
“Concentrating on our breath is the simplest way to bring us in to ‘the now’.”
The next Self Love Movement workshop to be held in Brisbane is called ‘Change your thinking, change your life’ and will feature creative small business mastermind Christine Corcoran.
It will focus on mastering the inner critic, changing negative thinking and learning how to trust gut feelings.
For more information on Self Love Movement events in your area, visit their website.