Formerly the frontwoman of Welsh rock band Catatonia, Cerys boasts an impressive CV with author, broadcaster and festival founder among her list of accomplishments. Soul & Spirit staff writer Kayleigh Rattle caught up with Cerys to hear about the well-being philosophies she swears by and to find out just how she finds the time to be so successful, yet so grounded.
On thinking big
While we may dream of leaving our jobs to set up a spiritual business or hope to finally finish the novel we’ve had hidden away in our sock drawer for years, it doesn’t mean we manage to achieve these goals or even begin to address them. Whether it’s a mixture of self-doubt, fear, or a lack of confidence that holds us back, it’s clear that Cerys hasn’t let these common limiting beliefs get in her way.
“My advice is to follow your passion. If you truly believe in something, go for it.” says Cerys. “It’s important to dream big, but also to back-up those goals and know how you’re going to pay the bills. Take baby steps and start small – pop-ups are a great way to test out your business idea. I also recommend surrounding yourself with inspiring people.”
On making it happen
Cerys is someone who experienced her childhood dreams coming true – from a young age she dreamed of writing songs and has managed to do just that, to much accolade. “In 1999, as part of of Catatonia, I played one of the biggest shows of my life. I had been working all of my career to get to this point and once I did, I thought to myself: What do I do next? But it’s important to know that happiness doesn’t have to stop once you reach your ultimate goal. In my experience, it’s all about enjoying the journey and finding out what follows.”
“My advice is to follow your passion. If you truly believe in something, go for it!”
And Cerys’ journey since that standout evening has been nothing short of impressive. What’s more, she has also found the time to co-found The Good Life Experience festival – a weekend of music, theatre, craft, nature and the great outdoors – that’s now in its third year. “The festival is a culmination of everything I’ve done so far in my life,” she says. “It combines decades of experience in entertainment and a love for the outdoors – it’s funny how everything I’ve done lines up to this exact point.”
On the great outdoors
So, what can we expect from the festival? “Based in the beautiful setting of the rolling hills of Flintshire, The Good Life Experience is all about getting a good dose of the great outdoors and getting together with like-minded people,” says Cerys. “It’s open to everyone, even dogs, and its ethos is based on William Gladstone and Jimmi Hendrix’s philosophy that when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. It takes place during the harvest festival and there are pumpkins, apples, pears and straw bales everywhere. It’s a really magical time as it ties in with pagan celebrations and the Autumn Equinox.”
With a focus on embracing the great outdoors and tuning into the rhythms of nature, there will be everything from tai chi to crafts, music, food and even chocolate meditation (which encourages a mindful approach to chocolate and comes highly recommended from Cerys), on offer.
On the simple things
When it comes to happiness, it’s evident that it’s the small things that are often overlooked in the pursuit of something glitzier or more grandiose that are central to Cerys’ philosophy: “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and nothing beats relaxing at home, making fires, doing ashtanga yoga and eating whole foods. It’s the small, day-to day things that keep me content. I love taking life slowly.”
With plenty of irons in the fire but also a clear sense of what makes her content, it’s apparent that Cerys is following what lights her up, which is nothing short of inspiring to witness. What’s more, her deep appreciation for the natural world and the simple things in life is infectious – we look forward to sharing these sentiments at The Good Life Experience festival this September.
Find out more
The Good Life Experience festival will be held at the Hawarden Estate Farm, Flintshire, from 16th-18th September 2016. See more at thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk and find out more about Cerys Matthews at cerysmatthews.co.uk
To read the full article, check out the July 2016 issue of Soul & Spirit, out now.