Experienced actress, author and student of life, Natalie Roy shares her answers to life's toughest questions in her new book 30: 30 Years, 30 Lessons.
This normal, everyday girl found her past 30 years held captive by mental clutter and self-doubt. Despite growing up with a family who loved and supported her, Roy's attempt to fill life's void with overachievement and a constant routine of parties, yoga and moving left her miserable. When she finally began to seek what she wanted the most within herself she began to heal and grow, realising we are the creator of our lives, not the reaction to it.
'Though our lives and situations may be different, we are all connected in our humanity," said Roy. 'My voice and my stories can help you, just as yours can help others."
30: 30 Years, 30 Lessons calls upon Millennials to free themselves from being defined by their past. Told with humour and candor, this self-help manual navigates the rough waters of heartbreak, regret and hopelessness and offers 30 viable lessons to overcome negativity and develop a strategy for success.
Natalie Roygrew up in a small Canadian rural community called Keswick Ridge. She received a BA degree with honours and distinction in English at St. Thomas University, and has spent the past 10 years as a professional actress, performing in feature films, short films, television series and theatre. Roy is a certified RT Yoga Instructor and through her training is well informed on philosophy and mediation. She wrote her first One Act Play, 'Round Third" which was produced in New York in 2012 and spent 5 years in the theatre troupe writing and performing original material. Roy continues to pursue her passion for acting and writing and currently lives in New York City.
30: 30 Years, 30 Lessons
Author: Natalie Roy
Question: What inspired you to write 30: 30 Years, 30 Lessons?
Natalie Roy: When I was a teenager, I used to write letters every year on my birthday to the children I might one day have. I still have those letters. Inside of them, the attitudes, fears, and priorities that I had at that time are perfectly exhibited. I wanted this book to serve as a place for people to look at their experiences and lives, and realize that they are not alone. We all fall down, have our hearts broken, and get rejected. We all fall in love. We are all in this together. I hoped that by sharing my struggles, my stories, and how I came to empower myself by finding a positive meaning in all of them, I might help someone else do the same. Understanding myself became a beautiful and spiritual experience for me. I believe that if our next generations can begin to accept and nurture themselves from a younger age, then there is no limit to the positive change the world can experience through them.
Question: Why was it important for you to tell the story with humour?
Natalie Roy: I have become skilled at laughing at myself and it has been so valuable for me. In learning to not take myself so seriously I opened up my capacity to be more loving and caring to myself. What I wanted for my readers was for them to be able to relate to me, as well as my life lessons, and I felt the best way to do that was to be authentic and share about where I had gone astray in my own journey. Life is funny. Strange and hysterical things do come our way. Maybe at the time we don't view them as so funny, but certainly in retrospect many of them are. The self help world can sometimes feel intimidating or very serious, as it addresses very serious concerns and attitudes, so I wanted to create something where people could experience the self help world in a more casual and candid way.
Question: What do you hope readers take away from 30: 30 Years, 30 Lessons?
Natalie Roy: No one is alone, nor should anyone feel they have to suffer independently! There is no need to feel disempowered in your own life. Though our lives and situations may be different, we are all connected in our humanity. My voice and my stories can help you, just as yours can help others. I wrote '30" to shine light on those struggles that we keep silent or are too embarrassed to mention. Life is a miracle. We can choose that for ourselves everyday. I am moved to be able to use my life in this way, to share myself with you all, and I genuinely hope that this book touches you as much as writing it touched me.
Question: How can we decide what we need to seek to be able to heal and grow as people?
Natalie Roy: At the end of the day, we are all chasing the same thing. We all want to be happy. We have different dreams, paths and circumstances, but we are all connected in that. What we need to seek, is how to find our happiness outside of our outer conditions, jobs, finances and other people. As I say in the book, "happiness is an inside job." Perhaps this book will give readers insight on how to heal and grow in creating happiness in their lives, or perhaps they will find it in another way along their journey. The important thing, is always to seek, always to ask the questions, and be so curious about living our best lives, that the answers can't help but stumble our way.
Question: How did yoga help change your life?
Natalie Roy: Yoga is one tool in my enlightenment tool belt. It is one I use often as it has helped to be tune into myself and heal myself separate from the nagging of my mental clutter. Yoga means to unite or to yolk. For me, yoga united me with a part of myself I had long ignored. I was an ambitious, fast moving, perfectionist seeking young woman who deluded myself that I didn't have time to stop and breath and notice and be mindful. Once yoga forced me to do so, the quality of my life, my time and my love grew beyond measure.
Interview by Brooke Hunter