INdeep with Casey Conroy
INdeep is a monthly series of interviews with people that inspire me. They may be coaches, healers, teachers or wellbeing advocates and experts.
I ask these guiding lights to share their stories of darkness, fear, growth and triumph that have lead them along their journey and I then ask them to go deep… sharing their current struggles and secrets that they don’t normally share with the world.
Stories of courage, honesty, vulnerability and the abolishment of “perfect”.
Every month we will have a rare opportunity to see the person behind the teacher, the human behind the bright lights and struggles that have lead to their success. You won’t want to miss these intimate musings that are not often shared beyond covert journal entries.
This month I spoke with Casey Conroy, yogi, health nut and quirky creator of funkyforest.com.au
Tell us what you do.
I offer tailored holistic nutritional advice and plans to people wishing to address various health issues including IBS, weight management, eating disorders and fatigue. Mindful eating and Health at Every Size are the primary paradigms I work within. I’m also a yoga teacher of 9 years and an AcroYoga (acrobatic yoga) teacher. I’m super excited to have recently opened a new space on the Gold Coast where I teach classes and run my nutrition consults. It’s a dream come true!
How did you find your path to help and inspire others?
It has been a long and meandering path that continues daily. For some reason my soul has chosen study as a path - I’m currently completing my third degree in natural medicine and (finally) loving it! I’ve always been interested in health - not so much for the science-y side of it but because I enjoy connecting with people and giving them a fresh perspective on ways to view their health. I like to empower people to take responsibility for their wellbeing in ways that excite them, so that eventually they become their own highest inspiration and biggest motivation. That desire to feel good and be healthy needs to come from within, from a place of self love, rather than a desire to meet external societal expectations.
I remember in grade 9 wanting to study naturopathy and getting the reply from a teacher that I should “study something that used my intelligence better.” This pattern consistently repeated itself throughout high school and was only added to by my mum’s extremely high expectations of achievement. By the end of high school I finished with the highest graduating grade possible yet felt incredibly limited in my choice of future career – medicine, physiotherapy or law seemed to me to be the only options since they all required an OP1!
I needed to overcome the pressure to do something that parents, teachers, friends etc wanted and expected for me. I thought I was being rebellious when I changed from physiotherapy to veterinary science after my first year of uni! I spent six years completing my first degree even though half way through that I knew it wasn’t for me – I was terrified of disappointing my mum if I changed degrees a second time! Plus I didn’t really know what else to study, anyway.
It took a year of travelling and teaching yoga overseas to start aligning with my true desire to work in human health. I eventually returned home and completed a Master of Nutrition & Dietetics and whilst it was closer to the mark, that training was lacking the heart and holistic approach that I so craved. Naturally I supplemented it with LOTS of extracurricular courses in energy healing, detoxification, counselling, herbs, and natural medicine. Finally this year I took the plunge and have gone back to study Naturopathy at university, and I’m glad to say my grade 9 self was on the money – I absolutely love it.
Coming full circle I feel like I’ve learnt that the whisperings of the soul are to be trusted. To do what excites you most and feels right, rather than worrying about how disappointed or upset others will be about your choice. I don’t blame my parents, teachers etc for the choices I’ve made and I feel like my whole journey so far has probably shaped me into a more patient, experienced and unique health practitioner. I’ve learnt that the disappointment others have felt in me at my choices was an opportunity for them to grow, and a chance for me to develop resilience and authenticity.
Are any of those old challenges still playing out for you?
Definitely, I feel like I now battle with a lack of confidence in my ability as a health professional and business owner, rather than my ability to choose what’s right for me. My greatest fear is that I don’t know enough or can’t help enough. My challenge in the past has been to live a life that is true to myself, not the life others expected of me. I feel I’m well on my way with that one now. My current challenge is to remember that I AM enough and already have SO much to offer my clients!
My wonderful clients, mentors, friends, and students remind me of this constantly which helps. And I need to make sure that any additional study I do comes from a place of excitement and passion to help others, rather than from a feeling of lack or fear that I’m not good enough.
Tell us about a recent challenge that you’ve been facing in private.
I’m in the process of coordinating a handover of lease on my joint workspace. I’m staying on the lease but the other half-owner is changing. There have been lots of ups and downs in this process and the call for me to stand firm in my beliefs and speak my truth has sounded more than once! The Libra in me doesn’t like creating conflict and HATES confrontation so this has been an uncomfortable process to say the least. But it’s also been a gift in that it is reminding me to have faith that things will work out if I speak my truth clearly whilst keeping my heart open and being willing to make things as fair as possible for everyone involved.
The best thing is that my new business partner and I share a very similar vision, and we are both very excited about the changes to come!
What is the next step for you?
Give back to myself. In putting out the amount of energy I do in teaching physically demanding classes, studying full time and running a business, I need to be careful to schedule in regular self-care time – massage, acupuncture and time at the beach feed my soul and ensure I can continue to do what I do without depleting my reserves too much.
Casey Conroy, APD/AN, holds a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics and is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Accredited Nutritionist, naturopath in training, Level 2 Yoga Teacher, and Certified AcroYoga® Teacher. She has extensive training in integrative and functional medicine, detoxification, intuitive/attuned eating, “non-dieting” approaches (including Health at Every Size® and mindful eating), food intolerances and plant-based nutrition. Casey also offers more broadly focused yoga and AcroYoga for clients wanting to look beyond their nutrition or clients who wish to learn to love movement again, connect to themselves and others, and express themselves creatively. Read more about Casey at her website.