There is more to life: Unlocking a life of freedom and bliss

by | Autumn 2024, Conscious Living, Print Articles

Many women, as they approach their 40s and 50s, find themselves looking for meaning beyond the success they have carved out for themselves in spaces like their work, in a business, or in the role they play with and for their families. 

Many face this as their children get older and reach independence, or when they reach the pinnacle of their careers. These achievements have made them feel comfortable in so many aspects of their lives that it can come as a shock to realise: ‘But what about me? I’ve been looking after other people. I’ve been leading my business or leading in the corporate environment, serving others. I may have served myself in gaining financial freedom, but there must be more to life, and how do I access that?’ 

The pandemic opened us to introspection and left us wanting to lead fulfilling lives, rather than just ‘surviving’ or achieving traditional success. We now want a reason for being beyond our day-to-day.

Coupled with this, we have seen the rise of the coaching industry. There are life coaches, business coaches, executive coaches, personal training coaches. Social media has cultivated the content creators who help us with our physical and mental health and tell us how to eat to change our lives. Whether it is wall Pilates, Yoga or a new diet of intermittent fasting, keto or low carb, there is no end to the advice we can access, everywhere. 

The work of Dr. Joe Dispenza and the many channels on YouTube that share his teachings, has helped to mainstream the notion that we are in control of our lives, that we can change by shifting our thoughts, shifting our energy and our ‘vibration’. Now a neuroscientist, Dispenza was a chiropractor and triathlete who healed himself from a very serious back injury after a truck collided with him during a triathlon. Breaking six vertebrae but refusing surgery, he was walking within 12 weeks through meditation and mind-body healing. He now trains people in these practices and gives talks worldwide. Communication with the universe, the quantum field, manifestation… these things are no longer considered ‘woo’ and are more accessible to people who want to live life to the fullest. 

Paula Janse van Rensburg is someone who, from an early age, knew that she was connected to something greater than herself. Even as a child she was deeply spiritual and, as a teenager, started to have a sense of seeing beyond the surface of what people showed to the world. 

When she worked in the corporate sector in her early career, Paula found herself managing people in a call centre environment, where she introduced meditation practice to her teams. While this was not always received well in the days long before ‘staff wellness’ programmes, it was her earliest expression of a gift she felt compelled to share. 

When Paula was in her 20s, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she left the corporate environment to spend time with her. Her mother died at the age of 52, having spent a life of scarcity, service and unending hard work, a woman who had played the role of providing for a family with five children. She had been a talented artist and creative person who was never able to give expression to that part of herself in her lifetime.  

The experience of her mother’s end of life drew Paula closer to her life’s purpose. She trained with a spiritual mentor and became a life-long student of various teachings and practices such as mindfulness and meditation, while at that time still caught up in the conventional notion of success and achievement. 

When she and her partner decided to marry in 2007, they could find no place or service to provide the picnic wedding in nature that they envisaged and this led to Paula starting her company Dial-a-Picnic. She threw herself into a frantic life of entrepreneurship and events, eventually franchising the business which now has five branches countrywide. While the business was a success, she was working long hours and at weekends, her husband was working in a corporate job he hated and they knew this was not the life they wanted. After their daughter was born in 2013, Paula started taking steps to create the life she really wanted and to pursue her role helping other women to do the same.

In 2017 she qualified as a soul coach through Soul Coaching International Institute, and she now runs her She Thrives programmes online, from her new home in Barrydale. Here, she and her husband and daughter are enjoying a life of mountains, rabbits and horses, an outdoor hot tub and fresh produce delivered to their door. By helping women reconnect with their inner power, towards a life of meaning and purpose, Paula is giving true expression to her gift. 

Google will tell you: ‘A soul coach helps you get in touch with your spiritual self to rediscover your soul’s true desires so that you may live your life to the fullest.’

We are living in a world where women have felt the need to hide aspects of themselves in order to succeed. Or they have been driven in one part of their lives and have neglected other parts, in the corporate environment, as a mother, or as an entrepreneur establishing a business. Paula has walked a path that many of us find ourselves on, processing trauma, striving for success and ultimately found joy in a life beyond it all. 

She says: “We hold this incredible tool within us – this is where our power sits. I want to help bring that original understanding back to the feminine, so that women can heal and live in real freedom. And once a woman starts healing, everybody around her moves towards healing – women have an incredible ability to affect those around them.

One thing I am passionate about: Follow your bliss. When you learn to trust yourself and connect with your soul that is where the magic happens.”

Open to the possibilities beyond the conventional notion of a successful life? Paula says that, if you don’t like where you’re at, you get to change that: “You’re literally one step away from the change and it starts from the inside out.”

“We are amidst the biggest awakening that our planet has ever seen and are being called to shed the old layers and wounds so that we can rise to our fullest potential and truly be abundant and free. Your darkest experiences can be your biggest portal for expansion.”
Paula Janse van Rensburg, Freedom and Soul Coach.

To find out more about Paula Janse van Rensburg 

IG @thrivewithpaula