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In the Bag: Jacqui Lewis

Words by Yu Mei

Jac Lewis with the Rebecca Bag in Stucco.

Jacqui Lewis is the founder of The Broad Place, a school that helps people enhance their clarity, creativity and confidence through education and practices. Emma Gott put us onto Jacqui after doing one of her meditation retreats, and after reading her advice below on how to make life that little bit easier, it’s not hard to see why.

Career

I became a teacher after 15 or so years of being a student of eastern practices and philosophy, including meditation, yoga, karate, qi-gong, tai chi, Buddhism, Zen, Taoism and Vedic lineages. I am also a writer and designer. Now I spend my days teaching meditation, mentoring students, writing books, doing speaking engagements, and designing and executing educational programs. It’s the greatest work I have ever done.

To anyone wanting to get into this field, I’d say study with fervour. Do the work on yourself — get a therapist and have a team of people to keep yourself in check. Meditation teachers are not gurus, and the pedestaling of people in self development is frankly insane. Don’t engage in spiritual bypass. Don’t believe you're special, even if you are making an enormous impact on people’s lives. If you’re a teacher, always remain a student.

Design

My design choices reflect my life. I used to be an interior architect, photographer and graphic designer. My husband used to be a fashion designer, and is now a creative director and artist. We are enormously engaged with design in every decision. Even small, daily ones involve bringing more creativity into our lives.

It’s a combination of my mood and the weather that defines what I wear! When I lived in London it was a different story, and I would plan my outfits in advance with great relish. But now I live in Byron Bay, Australia, so the days are governed by the humidity. And whether I am swimming! My style is eclectic, loud and quirky. I tend to mash a lot of different things together - vintage kimonos sourced in Japan, boots or velvet slippers paired with Pleats Please skirts and vintage shirts. I wear a combination of luxury and handmade.

Life

I don’t separate life and work — for me they are so intertwined. I might be researching a project through weekend reading, or teaching in the evenings. Most of our students were either friends already, or have become them. I also work with my husband, and our daughter has helped us on retreats around the world since she was 6 years old. And I host teachers from around the world at our house. It’s one energy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But my husband Arran and I have been self employed for 45 years between us, so we know how to keep the balance really well now.

Recommendations

I can’t live without Miracle Hair Leave in Conditioner. Kevin Aucoin Tubular Mascara is the best! Nars Lip Stains stay on and have fabulous colours. I love a winged eyeliner, and Eye Of Horus has a great liquid eyeliner. Perfumer H is my favourite for fragrance.

To make life a little easier, meditate. Avoid jamming too much into each day. Be realistic with what you can achieve in a day. Honor yourself and your self care. Do more of the things you love. Don’t invest time into people who you don’t align with. Stop complaining. Shift your mindset as often as you need, in order to be more loving and kind. Get enough quality sleep and stay hydrated.

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