Living the stressed, hectic life that we do, we’re constantly looking for solace in a relaxed haven. We’ve found our London zen spot in the form of Lifespace; a mindful space that serves as a sanctuary for slowing down in the heart of our favourite London neighbourhood, Notting Hill. Intrigued by founder Lana’s journey and how Lifespace become a spot for rejuvenation, we sat down with the talented founder to discuss the emerging wellness space in London, starting an entrepreneurial journey and the future of her project.
Photo: Courtesy of Fernando Zaitar
The Lifespace Journey Thus Far
Lana: I first began my journey into healing a little over 9 years ago. I suffered from a variety of ailments from the moment I was born. Constantly unwell, vomiting, stomach problems, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, low energy, fatigue, weakness, acne, ovarian cysts. You name it, I had it. That’s how it felt growing up. I reached a stage in my late teens at 17/18 where I developed debilitating anxiety and depression. I wouldn’t leave the house for months. I was numb to any sort of feeling. Doctors prescribed me medications but I was always apprehensive and never felt like they were the solution, even if temporarily they helped. At such a young age, it felt like my life was already over. Unstable, shaken and desperate for help. A few friends had suggested a nearby homeopath.
My journey into healing began. I was hooked up to a biofeedback machine that was able to inform the homeopath on where there were imbalances in my mental, emotional and physical bodies. After a year on homeopathic tinctures, she asked me of my diet. It was beyond poor, but never something I looked into. She spoke of the importance of Nutrition and a few months later I was recommended by a family friend to a Nutritionist. My life changed forever. Within 2 weeks my energy was better, my mind felt clearer, my sleep had improved, anxiety had dramatically lessened. The feelings of depression alleviated. I couldn’t believe it. For years I tried to find an answer and finally she was able to explain everything that was happening in my body as a whole. Eager to learn more I delved into research through articles and books and felt inspired to deeper my learning so embarked on a 3 year course at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London studying Biomedicine and Naturopathic Nutrition.
During my course my nutritionist led me to a psychotherapist to further deepen my healing emotionally. I never knew a life like this was possible. Through processes of shedding and expressing grief I was finally able to truly feel joy, Love and a deep sense of gratitude. This way of healing really allowed me to see the importance of health from a holistic perspective. Looking at not just the physical body but the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies as well as our genetics and environment.
Through everything I was experiencing and learning, I felt a great sense of purpose. That these gifts that had been given to me were to be passed on for others to receive also. To empower and heal ourselves. I continued to meet many inspiring teachers along the way and shortly after graduating began my practice seeing clients from home. It was a beautiful experience but isolating. I recognised the importance of community and wanted to create a space where I could bring all these incredible teachers from all over to come together in a space where we could build and create community, to heal in community. A space where people could come to slow down, find their inner peace and touch the possibility that is we are our greatest healers.
Lifespace was a vision from the heart and mind for 8 years. We have been open the last 5 months and it has been a surreal experience seeing this vision be born into life. Of course with every birthing whether it is a creative idea or a child, there can be challenges, it can feel overwhelming and its a fine dance between self-care and giving.
The Emerging Wellness Space in London
Lana: It’s growing. It feels a little more effortless to live a healthy life as things have slowly started to open up and the city has become more aware however, it still feels like we are far behind. London is such a fast paced city. We need to create space to feel more, to heal more, to slow down, to be in touch with ourselves and to reconnect with nature. For me, that is the true essence. To reconnect back to our natural environment, where we can give to the land as much as we take from it and practice being, breathing, sitting in stillness, to truly experience gratitude for the present moment and all that already surrounds us. I believe this is where our true harmony lives and when we are separated from a life like this, we can experience states of stress and dis-ease.
An Usual Day in Team Lifespace’s Life
Lana: It usually starts with opening up the space. The front of house team are wonderful at really setting the environment to be this space to silence the mind. We have little protocols to this i.e. smells, sounds, atmosphere. It’s our morning ritual. The complementary tea is brewed to suit each class, the incense is burning, the light music is playing and the class will be set out so that clients can come and settle straight in.
And then the work day begins. Plenty of emails and organising events, teachers, schedules, dealing with customer service. A lot of our clients Love to come into the space to simply just relax or have a chat and connect. The front of house team are great at creating this environment.
Photo: Courtesy of Fernando Zaitar
The Insider Tip to Live A Wholesome Life
Lana: Stay present to your immediate surroundings. It’s so easy in life right now to be all over the place. One of my teachers says “A gathered mind leads to less suffering.” Whether we are constantly on our phones in a million different applications or following thousands of different stories, emails, always thinking of what to do next or where to go, we are so often not in the present moment. Many of us will find ways sub consciously or consciously to actively not be in the present moment. Perhaps because something there feels uncomfortable, or we are afraid, and this is usually something emotional. So we consciously or sub consciously seek distractions, sometime even in the space of relationships or being around people all the time. Whatever it is, it is usually driven by fear.
I think the number one thing we can all do to live a more wholesome life is to stop, and really face the moment of now, however that presents itself to us, meeting whatever arises with compassion and really feeling it. This way we allow feelings to come and go, we allow feelings to show us where we’re at right now, we have to feel it to heal it, and when we’re in the present moment we can realise we have all that we already need if not more and a deep sense of gratitude comes in here.
So often we are chasing that thing that we think will bring us happiness, forgetting it is already around us. Whether it’s a better job, more money, a bigger house, children, a family, we look outside of ourselves so much for happiness. However, when we spend that time looking inwards, slowing down and being present, we recognise it’s within us all along and much of the time the running away from ourselves takes us further away from these feelings of joy because we run from our own pain in fear. The pain that may be building the barriers around our hearts. The pain we need to grieve, to come back to the centre of ourselves where true Love lies. The pain that is actually where our greatest growth and gifts lie. It is important when we go through these processes that we practice self-care, nurturing and compassion for oneself as we can also be our greatest critic, often with harsh judgement.
Lifespace 5 Years From Now
Lana: I see Lifespace as a multi-location refuge within the hum of city life. A space creating a community of healers, mystics, teachers and creatives opening up the accessibility to natural healing and optimal health in every corner of London. A space where people can come to, to drop-in reconnect, feel held, supported, feel inspired and heal. A space that creates community. A space that becomes a part of daily life just as much as your morning rituals do.
The Insider Tip for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Lana: People might try to sell you their stories of fear or their experiences. Tune into you. How does your vision align with your purpose? Is this your purpose? Is what you are creating in service to the benefit of this human existence? Is it fuelled with the intention of Love? How is it impacting Earth? Is it sustainable or can it be made in a way that is sustainable?
I’m a big believer that if something is done with the purest intention to fuel the goodness of the plant, Life, the Universe, Spirit, the Divine or God, whatever you want to call it, will make way for you. That doesn’t mean that it will be easy but things will flow and happen more freely.
Photo: Courtesy of Fernando Zaitar
Follow Lifespace: @lifespacehealing