What is the Biggest Thing You’ve Learned Along the Way?

With Julie Burke

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi, my name is Julie Burke or as many people know me Julie B. I am a Dublin based yogi who loves running, coffee and believes everything is better with a glass of bubbles and girlie chats.
I am a yoga teacher and wellness consultant from Dublin. I have two businesses- Julie B Yoga for corporate wellness, private clients and teacher training and I also own Hotpod Yoga Dublin, which is an inflatable hot yoga studio.

What is the one thing no one really knows about you?
I was attacked 3 years ago and thought I was going to die. I managed to escape and with the help of some amazing friends and my family I rebuilt myself and my life and am a much stronger person inside and out because of it.

What is the best advice you ever received?
‘Don’t be afraid to fail be afraid to miss out on the opportunity to learn.’
I have always been a perfectionist, in everything I did and always put incredible pressure on myself to hit goals and targets far above and beyond any anyone else ever set for me. It used to really stress me out  and got to a point where I would really beat myself up if something didn’t go exactly to plan.
My amazing Dad took sat me down one day, as he often did, and told me how proud he and mum were of me but also told me I needed to learn to slow down and take the pressure off. He told me that no matter what happened they would always be there, would always support me and I could never let them down. I had an absolute meltdown at the table, out of no where I felt this incredible wave of relief. My parents weren’t the ones to ever put pressure on my but I looked up to them so much I put an unrealistic pressure on myself to meet expectations I created in my head. My parents had both tried to get through to me before, constantly reassuring me but for some reason on this day  I heard it loud and clear and what’s more… I listened.

What would you say to your 16 year old self?
The exact advice my Dad gave me… ‘Don’t be afraid to fail ,be afraid to miss out on the opportunity to learn.’
We all make mistakes, we all have things that we would change given the opportunity to do it over. But I honestly think it’s a good thing we can’t. Life isn’t perfect and neither are we. It’s ok not to be perfect. It’s normal not to be perfect. It’s amazing to be able to recognise you are perfectly imperfect.

What is your greatest fear?
Letting people I love down.
I take friendship and love incredibly seriously- which may sound strange, so let me explain. I have been through some very difficult times and I have learnt the hard way what friendship really is. After my attack a few years ago there were some people who I thought would be right there by my side but they completely faded into the shadows. I’m not going to rationalize their behaviour or get into the details but that pain was often worse than the physical pain from the attack because it went a whole lot deeper.
On the flip side I also had some amazing friends and family who were there by my side every single small step of the rollercoaster journey of recovery to get me back to good physical, mental and emotional help. I genuinely feel I owe my life to them and am so incredibly grateful to each and every one of them- they know who they are.
One of my biggest take away’s and learning’s’ from this challenging time was it is important to surround yourself with the right people. I can’t do falseness in any part of my life so the people I chose to spend time with and have in my life are incredibly important to me and I would do anything for them.

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
Absolutely, there are so many examples I don’t know where to start. From ex bosses doubting my ability to deliver on a new idea I had, to ex boyfriends doubting my ability to change from working as a successful sales director to running my own yoga business… I could go on but the impact was always the same. It only helped to strengthen my determination and motivation.
Professionally I was always confident, I knew I was good at my job, I knew if I set myself a target I would reach it. So to hear someone doubt or challenge it just added fuel to my fire.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
You are enough!
Society has conditioned us to constantly strive to meet an unrealistic image, which is deemed to be beautiful or perfect. It really upsets me when I talk to women who constantly put themselves down and feel like they are not good enough. I know this feeling all too well.
I am incredibly lucky to have wonderful women in my life (we actually call our whatsapp group ‘Wonder Women’) who support each other fully and are truly happy for each other through all our successes, achievements and individuality. If you do not have these people in your life make it your mission to find them.

What is your favourite thing about where you live?
I am very lucky to live beside the sea and a beautiful big park so I make the most of it and love to get out running around the area as much as I can.

What do you love most about yourself?
My marshmallow heart- I am such a softie. I love that even though I have been through challenging times and faced plenty of cruelty and nastiness I haven’t let it change me. I love being happy and I love making people happy- I love doing nice things for the people I love. I know that probably sounds really soppy but I honestly believe that we create our own lives by our attitude and the people we choose to have around us.
I also recognize the importance of taking time for me- to recharge my batteries, to pamper my self and to check in with me. Too many people ignore themselves and I think this is a vital part of every day life. Being genuinely happy starts with you.

Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
After my attack I could barely walk and I was absolutely petrified of everything. I was living in London at the time so had to be flown home and my parents had to totally look after me. Every little noise sent me into panic. Leaving the house was a mountain and I thought I would never be able to be in a crowded environment again. The hardest thing I think was accepting there was no quick fix.  It was realizing that there was a long journey ahead to regain my physical, mental and emotional strength. It was going to be painful on so many levels and there were countless times I felt I couldn’t go one step further but it was always in those moments my amazing friends and family pushed me on, often carried me (literally) and slowly but surely I got back on track.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned along the way?
You do not have to do it alone. Leaning on other people or asking for help is not a weakness it is an inner strength, the kind no amount of exercise or weight lifting will give you. For me it was a real acceptance of self worth- I knew I wasn’t strong enough on my own to get through it physically or mentally and I knew I deserved more than I could give myself.

Why do you love to travel?
Growing up I had no desire to travel, I had been to various countries in Europe on family holidays and that ticked the travel box for me. All of that changed when a friend of mine brought me to Singapore when I was 19- it was a life changing experience. It was my first glimpse of different cultures and I was mesmerized. This started my desire to see more of this wonderful and wild world we live in. I love seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and learning about their cultures and customs. I find it fascinating.

What motivates you most?
I am an extremely curious person and I love to be busy. I like to challenge myself and am constantly trying new things and setting myself new goals. So I guess I motivate me.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
This is a tricky one sometimes. It was a lot easier when I worked as a Marketing manager or Sales Director because even though I worked very hard I left work at work. Now that I run my own businesses and it is also my passion it can be very difficult to separate the two. Honestly I struggled initially with taking time off which led to me being completely exhausted.
I had to learn to adapt to my new working environment but apply the same principles I always had while I was in the corporate environment. It starts with my diary and I map it out weekly to include my classes, talks, admin, prep time etc but also me time.
I also keep my laptop in my office at home so I’m not tempted to hop in and work when my fiancé comes home and we are meant to be having quality time. It’s was really important for me to develop a routine and be disciplined with myself around how and when I work.

What is your favourite meal?
Breakfast! I love porridge with peanut butter, blueberries, raspberries, chia seeds and a little maple syrup!

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I listen to me. This is not easy and it’s not always something I’m great at but I really recognize the importance of self-care and looking after me. This gives me the energy, focus and drive to be a better me- challenge myself, keep reading and learning and trying.

What is the one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
I doubt myself all the time! I get scared and have horrible flashbacks to the attack and just want to curl up under my duvet.
When I teach, in any setting, whether it’s a 1:1 or a festival for hundreds of people I feel so comfortable and confident and at ease – it’s natural for me. But off the mat and away from my professional space I often doubt myself and wonder if I am good enough and my ever patient fiancé reassures me that I’m just having a wobble.
I just feel so incredibly lucky to do what I do and I want to make sure I am constantly growing and becoming a better teacher for each and every one of my students.

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
I’d probably still be a sales director- I really loved my job but there just wasn’t the same level of satisfaction no matter how much over my goal target I achieved. However, it was a great learning curve for me and I am very grateful for that time and the lessons I learnt.

What is something on your bucket list?
I’m very lucky to have done a lot of my key bucket list items but the one that stands out for me which I haven’t gotten round to just yet is writing a book.

Where do you find inspiration?
All over the place- every day! It can be from students, classes I go to, friends, podcasts, books.
I think it’s important to have an open mind and be able and willing to listen. It’s ok that someone has a different opinion on something. You can disagree but you can still listen. I have found that the more I listen and challenge myself on things, the more I learn, grow and feel inspired.

What are your biggest passions?
Keeping fit and healthy not just physically but mentally too. Too many people ignore the need to invest in their mental health on an ongoing basis. If you run one a year and do no on the exercise this does not make you physically fit. It’s about having a regular fitness routine, which you enjoy. The same for your mental health- I know I’ve talked a lot about it but self -love and self care are vital.
I love running, yoga and pilates but if someone says meditation to me I look for the nearest door so I just approach it in a different way. I find time to be quiet and just check in on me, sometimes I find a little coffee shop by the sea and sit in silence and disconnect from social media etc and reconnect with me, other times I write and other times I breathe.  You just need to find what works for you and it may change regularly, in fact I think it’s better if it does.
Apart from a healthy lifestyle with great food my biggest passion in life is my fiancé, friends and family. Or as I like to call it our magic circle. Spending time with the people we love who are genuine, fun and loving people. I am incredibly lucky to know and have such wonderful people in my life.

More About Julie

Julie Burke is a Dublin based yogi who loves running, coffee and believes everything is better with a glass of bubbles and girlie chats. She is a yoga teacher and wellness consultant from Dublin. Julie has two businesses- Julie B Yoga for corporate wellness, private clients and teacher training and she also owns Hotpod Yoga Dublin, which is an inflatable hot yoga studio.

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