If I could bottle the essence and energy of Libby Weintraub (formerly McGinley; nickname “Libb’s”), I would have a potent and powerful potion. She is a dear Aussie mate and I’ve traveled with, and photographed, Libby in Greece and we’ve enjoyed many wild and crazy times together. Enjoy the vision of this remarkable young spirit!
A former fashion model, Libby left home at the age of 16 to travel the world and work with the likes of David Bailey (English Vogue), Isabella Blow (Sunday Times Magazine) and Mario Testino (L’Uomo, Vogue). At the age of 23, deeply unsatisfied with herself, her life and the superficial nature of the industry, she sought out a new direction and turned her attention toward her passions – yoga, nutrition and writing. This path continues to reward her deeply today. It brings her closer to her self and even closer to others. As she so bluntly puts it, she traded in starving and stilettos for a life devoted to spirit and self-awareness.
Santa Monica, California
WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE AND PASSION? //
It wasn’t until my early 30’s that I began to understand my purpose in life, as I always seemed to be searching for it outside of myself. As a teenager I used to think my life was about making my parents proud and being successful, and success back then meant having lots of money, working for the best fashion magazines/designers and being famous. (Yikes!)
When I stopped trying to be “somebody” and put an end to looking for my validation in the outside world, I began the process of learning how to love myself and, as a natural extension of that love, my passions began to emerge. Cooking food for others became a way of connecting with my creativity and people; making music and learning the guitar became a way of expressing myself; yoga and fitness were a way of connecting my heart, body and mind. I felt so incredible doing what I loved that I dove into learning more about these passions, and as a result of all of my personal growth, the ‘purpose’ of sharing this with others came into being. I am grateful to work with some wonderful individuals, helping them to open up to the truly nourishing act of self love and self care through yoga, meditation, and healthy living.
“My purpose in life is to love!!!! To love fully, deeply and unconditionally. To reside within my authentic self, to grow creatively and spiritually and through my loving, uplift and inspire others into self-awareness and self love.”
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? //
I am co-authoring a book with two very courageous women!
The book is about how healing our disordered view of beauty, body and health leads to self-empowerment and growth, on an individual and collective level.
We look at how the current cultural environment is rife with dehumanizing images of women. The fashion, beauty and health industries (among many) use advertising and imagery to present us with a very cunning, systematically selected, overly airbrushed, ideal of beauty, and this manipulation seeds within our consciousness an idea that is grossly unrealistic and unobtainable. The chronic repercussions this is having on the psyche of women and girls everywhere, is something we wish to alleviate.
In the book we discuss the extremely unique opportunity our culture and upbringing offers us, to wake up and become conscious. Regardless of what we are told or sold, we all have the choice, to know and experience our worth and beauty as something that is sourced from within, not contingent upon our external physical self fitting into some socially acceptable model.
Our book’s message is delivered through a variety of creative mediums, think “Be Here Now” by Ram Das. The most revitalizing aspect being the personal stories of how we learned to turn our suffering into deep self-love. The book contains visually arresting collages and leans heavily into poetic prose exploring our private moments of self-repulsion and self-revelation. We hope to inspire and support women into their healing and loving by sharing our own, and to raise the consciousness of self-love within women.
HOW DO YOU EFFECT CHANGE IN YOUR OWN LIFE? //
Effecting change in my life comes through a willingness to see where I have stopped growing, learning, loving, and listening. I make a daily routine of asking for the support, guidance and courage I need from Spirit, and others I trust, to move past any blocks on my path. Interestingly enough, it is always the blocks that I have created that bring about an opportunity for the deepest, most profound personal growth and change.
It is usually a fear, or some deep seeded feeling of unworthiness that appears to stop the flow of my life, there fore understanding my mind and rewiring the thoughts and beliefs I hold in there has been critical to me accomplishing and completing what I want in life. The only time I fail to follow through with a project or goal is when I loose touch of its purpose and neglected to address my feelings that sabotage the vision. Thoughts like, “I cannot possibly do it” or feelings like “I’m a total failure” usually stop me in my tracks. The only way I know how to move forward and effect change in the world is by having the courage to address this stuff, other wise it keeps biting me in the ass.
Meditation, therapy, yoga, free flow writing, energy medicine, and group seminars have all helped me find the balance between my inner and outer world. Deep heart felt communication and listening, setting dead lines and being flexible helps me in all of my collaborations with others.
HOW DO YOU EFFECT CHANGE IN YOUR COMMUNITY? //
I spend time volunteering when I can to causes that really inspire me. My most recent volunteering effort was to help a dear friend and creator of “Music Unites” Michelle Edgar. Music Unites is a 501(c) 3 non-profit, dedicated to bringing music education to underprivileged children in underfunded inner city school systems. They work towards transforming inner city landscapes by empowering urban youth through music.
DESCRIBE YOUR HEADSPACE? //
My headspace is always evolving and changing. As I wake up to the power of my thoughts I am ever increasingly aware of their impact on my day-to-day life experience. There are days where my headspace very much mirrors my homespace, sometimes it’s very clean, clear and the windows are wide open in there. These are the days when I find myself enjoying yoga and maybe a walk outside, I am in the flow, get my work done and check things off my list. Some days it’s not so tidy in there, there’s mental dishes in the sink that need cleaning, some clothes that need folding, and plants that need water. It fascinates me how much my external experience often mirrors my inner experience, and how by simply cleaning up my home, clearing out the clutter I can focus on my next big step.
DESCRIBE YOUR HOMESPACE? //
I have just spent the last year and a half fully remodeling a house that my husband and I purchased 2 years ago. The pool just went in, the grass is growing strong but there are still some boxes that need unpacking and rooms to organize. Creating a home takes time; I know it will all come together soon. Life is certainly requiring me to be patient these days. I also realize it’s not the objects in my home that make it a home, but the love, connection and intention shared within its walls.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU? //
My husband’s overwhelmingly generous love and listening, and his profound respect for life, nature, authentic music and friendship.
My mothers courage and commitment to forgiveness, love, and letting go have allowed her to over come some very powerful and painful life experiences. As a result of her sharing she has grown in awareness and inspired me through her example to do the same, she is a source of strength and inspiration to me.
My father’s love for his children and family, his generosity in helping others touches me profoundly.
My older brothers wildly creative, compassionate, nurturing heart and his skill as a father moves me.
My younger brother completes what ever he sets his mind to and lives his life to the fullest, that inspires me!
My sister-in-law and my nieces remind me that there is magic to be found in the simplest act of kindness, and every waking moment.