- July 31, 2019
- Posted by Claire Goldsworthy
- No comments
Yoga, crystals and holistic healing; there's no denying that these practices have become increasingly trendy in the last few years with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga and Madonna preaching the perks of holistic wellness.
The popularity of natural medicine has seen immense growth in Australia over the last year alone and the positive response has been overwhelming for those practising it. Consumer surveys taken during Natural Medicine Week have shown that nearly 97% of surveyed consumers view natural medicine as 'effective or very effective’ when compared to traditional medicine, and I definitely agree.
Samantha Sargent is the founder of Be Genki and we're on the same page. Holistic healing isn't a trend; it's a way of life and a healthier alternative to chemical and synthetic treatments. Samantha is all for essential oils and natural beauty, and she's built her brand from the ground up to encourage emotional and physical wellbeing from the inside out. Samantha is passionate about creating natural solutions for everyday problems from coffee-addiction to anxiety, and she's a firm believer that there is a holistic remedy for almost every health issue.
Samantha kindly stepped away from her business to-do lists and beautiful blends, to share her story at the helms of Be Genki...
Be Genki began when you wanted to help a friend. What's the story behind it all?
The short answer is that I wanted to help encourage and inspire holistic happiness by providing products with lifestyle tips that help to bring about a positive change – specifically anxiety and stress relief – in women’s lives. The long answer is that at age 21, I reached a point where I was desperately lost. From the outside view, everything looked perfect, but internally I was crying out for help as I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through this thing called 'life'. I woke up in the hospital one day after trying to kill myself and had a strong desire to radically change my life. I had no idea how I was going to do it, but the desire was there. So I sought out people and disciplines to learn from, in the hope of finding what it takes to live an inspired life complete with holistic health and happiness.
It’s been a challenging and confronting journey but oh so much more rewarding than surrendering to the drama, trauma, fear, cravings, aversions, envy and anti-consciousness that the mainstream reality conditions us to function from. I have an unquenchable thirst to educate myself and grow, to become more awake, more conscious, more aware and more synchronised with nature and, for as long as I can remember, I have always had a strong interest in health and wellbeing. I guess I was just looking for the inspiration to base a business around.
That inspiration turned out to be a girlfriend of mine who used to suffer from anxiety, and she was taking anti-depression medication on a daily basis. So I made her a blend with premium organic essential oils to use in the bath, and I suggested that she dedicate some time at the end of each day which was just for her to run a bath, shut the door, pour a couple of drops of the oil blend into the bath, and then sit back and relax for twenty minutes. After about six weeks she came back to me and was so thankful. She felt that she was confident enough to go off her medication. She didn’t know whether it was the ritual of running the bath each night, watching the water flow into the bathtub or the oils that she was inhaling but something sparked confidence in her. She then worked towards exercising more and taking a look at her diet to make healthier choices. She even went off her medication, and to this day has not popped those pills again.
You can only imagine how happy this made me feel. Whatever it was that gave her the confidence to take control of her anxiety and depression and ultimately her life, was enough to inspire me to help more people. And so Be Genki was born. Too often, I hear stories about people who run to the chemist to pop a pill for a symptom that they’re suffering from when they could be utilising alternative medicine or making lifestyle changes to target the cause. Whether it’s reaching for that third cup of coffee during the day to get a burst of energy; tossing and turning in bed at night or relying on sleeping tablets to get to sleep; suffering from anxiety and depression; freaking out at the 'little things' or losing your temper at those that you love most because you haven’t dealt with the issue appropriately; or simply 'beating yourself up' and criticising yourself over something that really isn’t that big a deal in the scheme of things. That is not what life is all about!
Life today is fast-paced. Most of us are faced with anxiety and stress on a day-to-day basis whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually. In order to achieve optimum wellness and inner harmony, we need to learn how to cope with that stress and nurture ourselves on all levels, inside and out.
You’re an advocate for the power of natural remedies. Where did this passion come from?
I grew up with a very health-conscious family and I was made aware of the importance of good nutrition and exercise from a young age. It wasn’t ever anything that I questioned. I loved being active and I was encouraged by my parents (my dad especially) to spend as much time outside riding my bike, swimming at the beach or playing sports. Junk food was a big 'no-no' when I was younger too. We weren’t allowed soft drinks or fast food or even cordial or Ribena. It’s random the things you remember isn’t it!
My mum always cooked a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for us, and for that, I am eternally grateful. However, when I left school for a few years I partied 'til dawn with my girlfriends, dancing the night away and drinking way too much alcohol, doing far too many drugs and smoking way too many cigarettes. When I made the choice to stop that kind of lifestyle, I became a little obsessed with trying to heal my body from the damage of all those years of self-abuse. I focused on opening my mind to as many different points of view about holistic living and this very much started my deep dive into exploring spirituality as well.
I engaged in work experience at health retreats and studied a Diploma of Holistic Nutrition for three years. I began my daily yoga practice, went to Vipassana meditation retreats, became an Access Consciousness facilitator, and also an Aura-Soma consultant. Whatever I came across in day-to-day life whether it be naturopathy, homoeopathy, reflexology, herbs, massage or energy work, I researched, experienced and tried my best to understand and gain an understanding of every principle and practice.
Essentially, I threw myself wholeheartedly at exposing myself to as many different points of view out there that I could find, in the hope of finding what it takes to live an inspired life complete with holistic health and happiness. I have always had an unquenchable thirst to educate myself, and now that I’m in my 40s, I feel that I’m only just getting started, as my latest learnings are all to do with light energy and bio-photon laser therapy and how these can help heal the body.
I had a chance meeting with a quantum physicist in the Black Forest in Germany who has created machines based on Tesla’s work. Naturally, my husband and I purchased a few of them to play with at home, and the results I’ve had personally are unbelievable in the true sense of that word.
Be Genki is cruelty-free, ethically sourced and 100% organic. Which of all your accreditations are you most proud of any why?
Yes, we’ve been Certified Cruelty-Free for over 10 years since I first started Be Genki. I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, it’s not the accreditations that I’m proud of, it’s the no-compromise approach that I love the most. When formulating natural products, it’s very easy to cut corners to increase profit margins without it showing on the label.
For example, when it comes to the sourcing of ingredients let’s take avocado oil as an example. You as the consumer wouldn’t know any difference from the label or marketing as it would say, 'avocado oil', but there’s a very big difference between organic, unrefined, cold-pressed and unbleached avocado oil that has a deep rich cloudy dark green colour, and is bursting with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, that deliver remarkable benefits to the skin - as opposed to a translucent deodorised avocado oil grown with the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that delivers far less benefits as well as harmful effects to your health due to the toxic glycophosphate residue from conventional farming.
If I was to compromise and make Be Genki products with conventionally grown oils, extracts and essential oils, you as the consumer wouldn’t see much difference on the label as we could still say that the product was 100% natural and our profit margins would certainly increase but the bees would suffer, Mother Earth would suffer, the waterways would suffer, and your skin and long term health would also suffer. We do not support the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides whatsoever, but they're unfortunately used in conventional farming and present in the majority of 'natural' products.
So, the thing I am most proud of is that I haven’t compromised my ethics when it comes to formulations and choosing suppliers.
Some of your products spend 24 hours in an amethyst crystal cave. Can you share more about your creative production process?
I firmly believe in energy transference, and I would like our customers to receive the most beneficial and balanced products possible.
If you are in a good mood and you have an encounter with someone who is angry, most often the case is that your energy will be affected. Perhaps you will walk away feeling angry too, or frustrated or annoyed. Everything has a ripple effect. And everything has consciousness. There are numerous scientists and physicists who have proven the consequence of intention when meditating with water and how it changes the chemical structure of the water.
That’s why we choose to place every single ingredient within a giant amethyst crystal cave for 24 hours to cleanse and purify them. Then, I make the conscious choice to blend and pour the products after meditation when feeling joyful. That’s also why I also pour our products by hand, because an automated machine is lifeless and mechanical and against the natural flow of life.
Are natural remedies given the credit they’re due or do you find natural medicine still receives scepticism?
Yes, and no. From my experience, there are three types of people.
There are some who choose the conventional mainstream medical route and are sceptical of natural remedies.
There are some who choose natural remedies and wouldn’t step foot inside a doctor’s waiting room or hospital unless there was a trauma to the body such as a broken bone or open wound that needed stitches, whereby medical intervention is not only brilliant but necessary. These people are immune to any scepticism because they know from first-hand experience how much better natural remedies are for the short and long term health of the body, mind and being.
And then there are some who have one foot in each camp. They love the idea of natural remedies and are happy to take them, but they still have that lingering voice in their head of doubt and fear, as they don’t quite trust the natural route enough to stop taking pharmaceuticals. This group of people are still persuaded by the underlying scepticism that the pharmaceutical industry perpetuates.
So that’s a very oversimplified view of society, but I’m yet to meet a person that doesn’t fit into one of these three categories. There’s certainly no 'right' or 'wrong' way to approach your health but each choice we make has consequences on our health or lack thereof.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to understand what animals are saying. My husband and I live in the hinterland of Byron Bay. It’s a paradise unlike anywhere else in the world. In our garden and paddocks, we have all sorts of critters; wallabies, echidnas, koala bears, goannas, pythons, ducks, all sorts of birds from kookaburras, black cockatoos, peregrines, lorikeets, willy wagtails, magpies, and even platypus in the spring-fed river that is at the base of our property. In the evenings it feels like we’re living in Jurassic Park with some of the sounds that they all make, and in the mornings the bird song is incredibly beautiful. I’d love to know what they’re talking and singing about.
Try a little piece of Samantha's paradise and experience natural beauty for yourself. Shop the Be Genki range online here.
The Fashion Advocate x