WOMAN ALMIGHTY ONE: EMICA PENKLIS
If you want a glimpse of authenticity in its truest, coolest and endearing form, then look no further than the uber exceptional Girl Almighty that is Emica Penklis.
She has an innate ability to juggle her many labels and job descriptions with poise, lightness and thoughtfullness - chocolatier extraordinnaire (of Loco Love fame) model, poet, thinker, Registered Naturopath and Eating Psychologist Coach. Just a couple. Nothing major.
I was able to meet up with what seems like the busiest lady alive and she opened up on being an Alchemist, a strong woman and a conscious thinker in an often noisy, convoluted world. Its always a trip talking to like minded ladies who appreciate deep conscious thought, good food, have a passion for life and are generally really cool.
We went to the magical wonderland that is Orchard St's Elixir Bar in North Bondi (her chocolates are sold here - Bounty, Salted Caramel Crunch, Hazelnut Praline, Matcha Mint. All Organic, All Vegan, All Sugar Free. All bloody perfect. Top notch). We sipped the worlds most delicious Masala Chai (made with housemade coconut milk) in between bites of her conscious, nourishing and alchemical chocolates and Orchard St cakes. 10/10 morning.
Ondine: What do you call yourself?
E: Cusp of Cancer and Leo
O: Would you describe yourself as the typical Cancer Leo Cusp?
E: Actually i wouldn’t, I have always since a child wondered how its possible that I am a Cancerian. Though to be honest, I feel like I have parts of all of the Star Signs. I don't really like putting myself in a box.
O: How would you describe what you do?
E: I do many things. I like diversity. Mostly, I ponder life and write love poems. Though when I am not doing this I am creating for my Raw chocolate company, Loco Love. What I am working on is my self, and aligning myself with the truest expression of who I am through different practices. I realise that can sound lame, though it's just what I do. I also see clients as a naturopath and eating psychologist coach, though have only recently started practicing again after a short time off to further my studies.
O: Was there a specific moment when your knew you had to be an Alchemist in your world?
E: Not such a specific moment, though ever since I was a child I have had a very independent character, so, often this doesn't work well when trying to live out someone else's dream. I am also a massive believer in freedom, so my lifestyle is built around maintaining a sense of freedom. My father always told me to just do what I love. For many years I couldn't choose what exactly it was that I loved. I found trying to choose an occupation made me confused. It wasn't until I stopped forcing myself into doing things, that I started creating Loco Love. There was no dream of being a chocolatier. I honestly still dont know exactly what it is I want to do career wise, though I know how I want to feel in what ever it is I pursue. I must do things I believe in or else whats the point in life, as nihilistic as it sounds. We have been gifted this life, so I want to experience as much as I can.
O: What have you learned about yourself through your success?
E: Thank you! Funny thing is I never think of myself as a success. Its not the driving force behind what I do. I have learned that you cant force anything. You will spend a lifetime trying to force things, though if they are not right for you they just wont happen. I do believe in what you put into something, (be in a job, relationship etc) is what you will get back. Also I have learnt that I need to be disciplined with myself, I have a daily practice of meditation where I cultivate a deep feeling of gratitude and love for myself and life. This seems to help, as running your own business can be challenging. If I don't practice these things, I find my mind can wander and can sometimes spiral into negative thought if I don't keep focused. I am also a big believer in facing and feeling any negative emotions, not just distracting oneself until they are buried, this is the only way we really grow.
O: Are you passionate about what you do?
O: So, how does it feel to be one of lucky ones who actually get to live out their passion?
E: I am very grateful. I feel blessed to be able to orchestrate my own way through this life. Its not the easiest path mind you, though its worth it. So thank you so much for your support.
O: What wisdom would you offer someone wanting to be an Alchemist?
E: I believe that one must do a lot of inner work to discover what it is that they have been gifted with. Its not easy to remove distractions and really search yourself to work out what it is you wish to create. Some obviously have this knowing from an early age, such as highly successful sports people, musicians, artists. I used to be so envious, as I have a lot of friends who just knew exactly what it is that they wanted and the never swayed from this knowing. In the past I have compared myself to such people, as it looked so easy for them just knowing what they wanted to do. Though, its just the way they are wired. I am wired differently. Basically what I am trying to say is, don't stop searching for what you love, do this by trying different things, seeking advice, writing, asking yourself deep questions like ‘What is the most important thing in life?’, practice meditation, eat well, care for yourself, share your desires, dream, make choices and most importantly...relax. Don't let indecision get the better of you, by not making a choice, you are indeed making a choice. Just start, don't let fear cripple your wings.
O: A piece of wisdom for your younger self?
E: So much, the main piece of advice would be focus on your own life, don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Do not compare yourself to others, we all have our own lessons to learn and paths to carve out. There will be tough times, dark times and at times it all might seem to hard, go into those places and learn from them. When you're feeling so much pain, feel it, learn from it and grow from it. Everything has a hidden message. When I was younger I went through dark times of depression, where things didn't make sense to me - the society we lived in was just so sick. Though, then I realised I was part of this society, so by being the change I wished to see in the world, that in turn would effect the collective. We are not separate from the whole, so just remember, you are not alone. At times I felt so lonely, I inflicted this loneliness on myself, in a way, it was important to my growth and evolution. Though its not an easy thing to go through, so if you're feeling lonely reach out to someone, get out of the house, go for a swim in the ocean and take responsibility for your life. no one is going to save you except yourself.
O: What makes your blood boil?
E: A few years back, the whole structure of society made my blood boil, such as GMOs, the banking system, the fluoridated water, the injustice, the poverty, animal cruelty - the list goes on and on. I had to take a different approach to these situations, as I couldn't walk around with the weight of the world's problems on my shoulders. These things are still awful, though this inspires me to work out ways around this. To use myself as an experiment. Wars have never been solved by more wars, though the good thing is anger can start change, though the anger needs to transform to compassion to have real effect. Anyway I don't claim to know anything, this is just my own experience.
O: What is your sneaky vice/indulgence?
E: Hmmm, afternoon naps, I love them.
O: Food you are craving right now?
E: Chocolate, as I haven't got any in the house, seems ludicrous considering I have a chocolate company.
O: What are you passionate about?
E: That is a big question, how many days do you have? (laughs). I am passionate about life. The little and big things that make up this existence. I am passionate about human expression in all forms, about imagination and using it to its best ability to carve out a unique experience in life. I am passionate about love, in all its forms and what it means to each and every of us. I would love to make a film and travel the world and ask a diverse range of people what love means to them. it fascinates me that something that science can not prove is the biggest motivating force of the universe. I am passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. I also am passionate about self-actualization and the potential that each of us has within us and how to express that fully. I am mostly passionate about experience, really there is probably not a lot I wouldn't try at least once. I think learning is one of the most important things in like and the world is an endless book to read.
O: Thoughts on beauty?
E: Beauty is all around us, all of the time, the most beautiful things I witness are unaware of their beauty. Beauty in the form of a person, comes in many forms, I don't really have particular text book definition of beauty. I also don't want to be overly obvious and say beauty comes from within. Beauty is something that just is, I find beauty in the simplest things such as the glimmering surface of the ocean or children laughing in the street.
O: What is your personal anthem?
E: Songs i love at the moment are - Steely Dan ‘Do It Again’ & Talking Heads ‘This Must Be The Place’
O: What quality do you most admire in a woman?
E: A woman who knows who she is, strength and softness in a perfect paradox. Also a woman who is authentic, someone who has accepted themselves and isn't afraid to speak the truth. A woman with class and grace, someone who exudes kindness and really cares about others. A woman who knows how to listen and how to compliment other women. I also admire a woman who isn't afraid to be feminine, by that I mean vulnerable, open and caring, I feel in todays world woman are being hardened by the masculine energy that surrounds us, in a way becoming more like men. It is important as women to remember our own feminine essence.
O: What quality do you most admire in a man?
E: Similar to those I admire in a woman, though with a few differences. In a man I admire a strong sense of self, he knows what he wants and when he gets it he doesn't take it for granted. I admire a man who is grateful, humble and loves adventure, also some one who has created his own path in life. I generally admire expressive, creative and free spirited types, though I like there to be a balance of loyalty, earnestness and a willingness to grow if needed. I also appreciate honesty even if it hurts, authenticity to me is not just being yourself, though actually knowing yourself, I admire this as it takes great courage to explore all aspects, the good, the bad and the shadow.
O: If you had a moment when the whole world was listening to you- what would you say?
E: That's a lot of pressure (laughs); though that opportunity is rare.
It is up to us to make the changes we want to see, if we all aligned together we could make this earth a heaven for all. We are all of the same source and each one of us has an individual part to play. Together all at once we could banish poverty and suffering, in a blink of an eye. It would be so easy, The separation and competition between us could be transformed in an instant. If we all realise that is us co-creating this society instead of blaming one another and if we all took responsibility life could be a dream. I'm not saying its not a beautiful life, maybe its perfect the way it is in this dual state. Though what I do know deep inside that we weren't born to sit at desks in front of screens building someone else’s dreams out of fear of having no money. This can change in an instant, the people have the power for creating a harmonious existence, though we constantly give it away. Wouldn't it be nice to wake up in a world where people were smiling at each other, there was no faces buried in screens and the people passing by wouldn't be looking at the ground. Where poverty didn't exist and murder was a myth from long ago. Its so possible, though a massive shift of perception needs to happen. In the words of John Lennon "They may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one".