I am thrilled to introduce you to a special guest this week: the amazing Frances Verbeek from The Happi Empire. Fran is an amazing woman who is making a positive impact in the world with beautiful and colourful products.
She is the creator AND designer behind The Happi Empire where she offers practical tools (workbooks, action pads & inspiration cards) to guide you to experience true happiness, found only on the inside.
Fran grew up in Surrey, UK and moved to Australia when she was 22, where she’s been for the last 8 years. Fran is blogging about great topics related to inner peace and happiness. I absolutely love one of her last ones where she explains why ‘Discipline Will Set You Free‘. I guess I can relate pretty well to that and I am sure you will too.
I’ve been attracted by Fran’s products and started using them more than a year before knowing who she was. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to meet her at The Live-Aspire blogger event in Sydney and we quickly connected with each other.
This beautiful woman shines positivity and you can truly feel it through her gorgeous website. I love that she describes herself as a designer for positive causes that wants to change the world.
Her goal is to remind you of your limitless inner power and help you experience inner peace and lasting happiness on your magical journey through life.
This is just incredibly beautiful!
On top of that, she is so generous that she is giving one of you a gorgeous gratitude journal. For your chance to win, read the interview and take the challenge at the bottom of the page.
Could you please explain what made you create Happi Empire?
I left school at 18, disgruntled with life. My school education hadn’t suited me well and I had recently been dumped by my first boyfriend. My brother, who had been interested in Buddhism and other spiritual practices (which I thought were gross and weird at the time), went on a life-changing spiritual development retreat in Australia. He came back a changed man, totally in tune with his inner wisdom & started helping me with inner issues that a normal 19 year old boy couldn’t possibly have done. So Mum & I took a leap of faith and travelled to Queensland to experience it for ourselves.
The stuff I learned on that retreat transformed my life. I learned about metaphysics, the ego, astrology, my life path & it’s unique challenges, energy healing, ascended masters, past lives, putting yourself first, manifesting. We meditated for 2 hours each day and I started to feel an outline of my life purpose.
After learning about the magical way the world worked, I had an urgent craving to teach others.
Becoming a coach or teacher didn’t feel right, but communicating through graphics and activities seemed really fun to me.
My first product, Happi Cards, came about organically in 2004. Happi Cards are a compilation of all the reminders I had stuck over my bedroom walls since doing the spiritual retreat! This was the start of The Happi Empire, although it didn’t get it’s name until 2011!
What’s the philosophy behind your products?
The aim of The Happi Empire is to translate spiritual concepts into practical, easy to implement exercises & ideas to use in every day life. The hope is that by using Happi products, you will form a strong relationship with yourself, feel empowered and come to remember that you have access at all times to love, peace & all the answers.
Could you please share one of the biggest challenges you had to face and how did you manage it?
Depression & anxiety have knocked at my door more than once. These moments were ridiculously hard to deal with, but the one thing that got me through, was asking for guidance in every moment. I just used to ask ‘What’s the next step to feeling happier?‘ and I would always get a tiny guidance, which was often so small, I could’ve missed it.
‘Go for a walk‘, ‘have a nap‘, ‘drink a whole glass of water‘, ‘call a certain friend‘.
These little steps were slowly shifting me, getting me up in the morning, keeping me going. Eventually the energy transformed and looking back I can see what issues caused it. It’s all to do with inner work, which again, is what I’m trying to offer people through the happi products – ways of unlocking & releasing unhealthy patterns and building strong, loving, healthy mindsets instead.
What’s new and good regarding your projects & what do you plan for the near future?
I’m working on some fun happi products to be released this year – another playbook like the gratitude journal, but this one is all about trusting your intuition & becoming comfortable with meditation and energy. Plus a range of cute happi action pads to help you in different areas of life
Oh also, on the blog I’m going to be sharing unique 1 minute meditations every Wednesday – Wisdom Wednesday! That will start next week.
What was your best holiday/trip & why?
I reckon it was the first time I came to Australia for that first spiritual retreat. Changed my life! I also love going to California as the creative energy is awesome & Americans are so open. And I have a soft spot for Byron Bay, cuz it’s full of spiritual & creative adventurers! Next year I’m planning a trip to discover Europe – I moved to Australia so young, so I haven’t properly adventured my home continent yet. So excited!
What’s your favourite beauty product/cosmetic?
I love the Australian Bush Flower range of skincare products. They carry an energetic healing component as well as being 97% organic. I also love Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics line. It smells SO yummy, feels luxurious and it is organic!
What’s your most important health secret?
Drink loads of water. Water can heal so much. Most people are dehydrated, so making sure you’re drinking enough water can really transform things. It gives you more energy (think of a plant before and after watering – that’s just like you!), it flushes away toxins and keeps things working in all the bodily systems. Drink more water than you think you need.
Life is a continual improvement, what did you learn lately?
I have found an excellent yoga teacher; this lady lived in an ashram for 20 years and teaches yoga on the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Yoga is teaching me a lot about how stressed out we really are, even if you are enjoying life, and how important regular conscious deep breaths and total letting go relaxations are. Yoga nidra, anyone? Mmmm! I recommend finding a yoga teacher that teaches on the deeper levels, not just the stretches and the physical aspects, as that’s almost missing the point. Yoga is a path to enlightenment.
Also, I had a wonderful coaching session with the beautiful Connie Chapman (I see you interviewed her a while back!) last week, which helped me realise that I need to focus on my creative work as my souls expression, instead of as a business. My ego takes over when I focus on it like a business and I end up feeling really blocked and frustrated.
What advice would you give to our readers to help them reach their dreams/happiness?
Instead of reaching for your dreams, take the time to be still with yourself. Take 3 slow, deep breaths. Put the phone on silent. Perhaps have a little daydream and see where it takes you.
What does your soul crave? Try journalling about the topic and see what comes up.
Trust yourself to know that you have access to all that you need.
Your dreams are just a guide to what you’re meant to be doing in this lifetime.
Go for it, you’re completely supported!
“When issues arise, I look within to see what it is trying to teach me” I think it’s really important to create a personal affirmation, so it can really help you turn mental patterns around. I wrote this little piece on creating your own personal affirmation. Check it out here.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Radical Forgiveness, You Can Heal Your Life, The Body Is A Barometer for the soul, A Course In Miracles. 4 books that changed my life!
Changes all the time, but at the moment I really like listening to female singers like Emeli Sande, Alicia Keys, Jessie J, Florence, Paloma Faith, Birdy, and of course singing along, pretending I’m a popstar
I seem to be eating a lot of salmon, jacket potato & rocket, walnut & beetroot salad, it’s reeeeally yummy.
I love chick flicks & comedies. The Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson & Vince Vaughn trio is always a winner.
Season & why
Spring – I love the feeling of excitement for what the coming sunny months will bring.
I love crafting. Doing stuff with my hands is a welcome change from sitting behind the computer screen throughout the week.
Apple crumble that my gran makes!
You could not live without…
My spiritual connection <3
For your chance to win the gorgeous Happi Empire Gratitude Journal, share with us in the comments below one thing you will do this week to increase your inner happiness.