Spirit Sister Series - Christina Zipperlen from Ananda Soul
Writing the intro for our Spirit Sister feature always feels like such a blessing.
The essence of this series is the celebration and witnessing of our sisters in community and equally an opportunity for each of our sisters to be seen by community on a deeper level than we might normally allow ourselves to be seen in an online space.
It's an honouring of our individual paths and our impact in community, a celebration of what we are capable of bringing into existence and the level of inspiration and support we can be to one another just by sharing with one another and allowing ourselves and our natural, innate wisdom to shine through in the sharing of our personal experiences.
Today we are especially excited to be honouring and celebrating our beautiful Sister who is also the designer and founder of one of our treasured brands, Christina Zipperlen of Ananda Soul Creations.
Ananda Soul Creations, is an inspiring, ethical & sustainable jewellery label we carry on the site, not only because they create stunning and powerful pieces of jewellery, but because their core values align so closely with our own.
Reflecting divine intention, sustainability and empowerment of both the consumer as well as all women across the globe while, giving back and offering support to the women and children in the communities where Ananda produces their products.
We are so honoured to have Christina join the Spirit Sister Series and give us all a little glimpse of the beautiful soul behind the brand.
Read our inspiring interview with Christina below where she shares with us, a little of where she's come from, what her focus and intentions are in the present and for the future moving forward as well as some tips and spirit rituals that she uses to stay grounded and inspired in daily life.
Let’s start with the basics, how old are you? And where did you grow up?
I am 37, years old, and I was born in Germany in Bavaria, the south of Germany. I left when I was 19 and moved to Hawaii in 2003, to go to college and then via a few stops, ended up in Bali, in 2009, where I founded my business.
Where are you currently based?
I am currently based in in Bali. I live in ubud, Bali, Indonesia and, yeah, I've been here for 12 years now.
What three words best describe you right now and your Intention/Essence/ offerings?
Three words. The first would be soul creations. The second would be, it's more than a word but it would be dare to shine. Third is joyful balance.
Can you share with us a little about your Journey with Yoga and or Spirituality, whatever that means to you?
So, I started doing yoga when I was 18, I think. It was a huge part of my own healing journey around eating disorders, mental health and body issues, and it has been just the most precious practice to have and come back to, for which I am super super grateful.
In my journey with yoga, what then slowly started unfolding was a stronger meditation practice and then just movement practice in general. I love to dance and just be in nature, so it's definitely expanded off the yoga mat, as it often happens for people.
In terms of spirituality, I mean living in Bali, as many people know, it's such a spiritual place, just the connection to spirit here.
I lost my mom when I was quite young when I was 18, so that has been a huge bridge for me to the divine, to higher forces kind of communicating and bringing me purpose and meaning and guidance.
Can you Share with us a little about what led you to begin starting your biz/ sharing your current offerings?
So I founded Ananda Soul about 11 years ago now and it is a direct offering of my art, and also my messaging of body positivity, of women, connecting to their true essence, of daring to shine brightly and so it definitely is very closely intertwined with the messages of mental health, that are very dear to my heart,
Of cultivating compassion, with others. Noticing others, where they're at, giving them permission to be and also self compassion, being gentle with ourselves where we're at and using all forms of practices, affirmation and mantra, to cultivate hope and faith and courage and confidence.
And yeah so, I trained to be a yoga teacher around the same time that I very slowly, like planted the seeds of my business and it was, kind of like both of those directions took off from the beginning, and then I went, the route of being a designer.
But if I'm really honest a part of me chose that, the artists side, the hermit artist side, to be able to put my creations out, without having to be the front face, not having to use my voice per se, but being able to just use it through the messaging. Over the years, I've slowly put aside that fear. Yeah, the fear of being seen the fear of others really.
I was horrified to teach yoga when I first started and so there's a full circle happening right now. I'll talk a little bit later about my new directions I'm going into while still very happily running and leading and guiding Ananda Soul.
What have been your biggest triumphs?
One definitely is the creation of my business and how, it's 11 years and we still exist and have grown into a beautiful little family of an amazing team of mostly women, and also creating the messaging that resonates with all of us who are getting to create it and then fortunately, with many other people who receive our creations and our messages.
Another big triumph would be, to have overcome my eating disorder. I was anorexic in my teenage years, and I feel, I feel recovered from that at this point and I know that it is, very, in ways, still a taboo topic and also something that's actually quite challenging to overcome completely, so I do feel really grateful for the tools and the amazing people in my life that have helped me to come to that point.
Another big triumph, is I'm starting a master's degree in counseling psychology this year. I'm about one year into my practice of just finishing up a one year counselling program and yeah, to step into that direction fully, feels like a big triumph, to listen to my soul's yearning.
What have been your biggest Fears, obstacles and challenges along the way? And what has really helped you in overcoming them?
One big fear that definitely was very alive for a long time was that, if I show my full self if I take up the space that my soul is yearning for. If I shine brightly, that it will be too much, like that fear of being too much, and then being rejected or judged is definitely, yeah, it took quite some time to overcome that and what has helped to overcome it really is to surround myself with people where we get to celebrate each other and genuinely show up for each other, even when the less pretty parts in us, come out. To have community and a soul family, where we stand by each other side, unconditionally.
What lessons are you most grateful for in life and in what you do?
one lesson, definitely, Is what happens when we, when we stick with something, like when we're really determined to go through the ups and downs. Because I would lie, if I were to say that the ride with my businesses has always been cheerful and smooth.
There definitely have been challenging times and there's been something in me that has just been completely clear from the beginning that we're gonna stick this out. And so, yeah, the beauty that comes through, when you show up fully for something and also for someone, because this is not about me, this is about the amazing women who have been running this company, alongside me for years now and so the beauty that arises, to genuinely create something with a big open heart and what comes back when we show up that way.
Just genuinely feeling like the people I work with and run this company with are like family and were there for each other and we have each other's back and that, that's truly truly possible.
What advice would you give another facing a similar challenge?
Okay, let's go with being a female entrepreneur and wanting to run a company based on hard values, like those that are connected to the soul.
Things are changing and I think the world is much more open and supportive for
these types of projects and businesses because we're starting to understand how important that is and also people are starting to ask, what, in my eyes are the right questions. Like, where is something made who's running it, who are they, how are the people treated who are involved in it. How is the planet being considered in the whole process, things like that. So things are shifting and it still can be really challenging to pull something off when we're on our own.
So one of the biggest things I would say is to to be gentle and to understand that things take a lot of time. And in the example of starting your own business, to be okay that it could be something on the side to begin with, and that eventually it could turn into something, so it takes the pressure off as well.
Like, I started Ananda on the side in the beginning, I was still working as a graphic designer and teaching yoga and I was doing a bunch of different other things and in general, to take the pressure off, across the board, feels like something really big.
Alongside that I would also say to allow yourself to shine brightly and to let the world see who you are, there's so many amazing ways in this interconnected world that we live in to do so now.
I would say, to just drop in with oneself super regularly, like asking yourself what is my truth? What do I want to create in the world? How do I want to be seen in the world? and then also, you know, asking on deeper level, I think having a having a regular practice, whether that is a meditation practic or movement practice that is in silence that allows you to drop in with your soul, with yourself. It will likely, bring out your, souls yearning of what you want to create in this world.
Journaling is also a huge one for me, that just helps me to communicate with spirit and with my intuition in very clear ways.
What are the biggest challenges you face now? either personally or in what you do? or both?
Well, one of one of the bigger challenges for me is that I am really passionate and enthusiastic about what I do and so sometimes I, I take on too much and I fill my plate, a little too much. And so, that affects me personally and also the business. So that's a constant dance for me, to show up for my passions and business and make creations and also to rest and nurture and create room for play and recharge.
We all deal with fears and insecurities; how do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?
Yeah, there's the overwhelm. I know when they arise and the self doubt as well it's usually when I'm maxed out when I haven't been kind with myself.
So, one of the first things is to actually go through my calendar and see what can I move, what can I cancel. Where can I carve out some moments that are just for me that creates spaciousness and me time.
I often don't end up doing very much like I don't go out. I go for swim or. Yeah, I go for a walk in nature or journal or do yoga nidra, and often that kind of dissipates it already.
What do you currently most crave in life and in what you do?
In general it's connection, and it's collaborating with other people, mostly women who share the same values. Yeah, really creating these heart connections in what we create and and also in my free time. Just really open, honest vulnerable connections across the board really.
What’s next for you, any exciting plans on the horizon that you would like to share?
There's a few things going on, so in terms of the business, we've just had some huge changes towards just being a lot more present online.
Ive launched a podcast and we're launching another new collection this year.
So that's all really exciting things, and then for me personally, as I mentioned, I'm in the midst of my studies as a counselling psychologist and I'm weaving those studies into my writing as well.
Really listening to my soul's call to step into the field of mental health, and to bring that into my creations, into the messages that Ananda soul brings through as well. And yeah, to really follow that calling as I feel it's so, so, so important
Spirit Rituals, can you share with us any practices or routines that you do to keep you feeling inspired, grounded and connected?
As I mentioned, I have a daily movement practice, which varies vastly so that can be 10 minutes of just putting on a few different songs, or sometimes just being face planted on a yoga mat and breathing.
It could could be a run with my dog, a fitness app workout or yoga, it varies depending on what my body needs that day, but there is some form of movement every day.
I also have a meditation practice. I sit in my space, I light a candle often put some flowers in my altar.
Sometimes when I feel that I need answers. I have a few card decks that I might pull a card and read from that book, weave in some meditations that might be recommended there. But in general it's really just having time each day to drop in with myself. After that I usually make myself a cup of tea or cacao depending on my mood that day.
I also journal a bit, I've been doing morning pages for quite some time and that's been huge for me to have that space to drop in with myself.
Who have been the most influential or inspirational people/ teachers/ Books or places on your path? and why?
One woman who really really inspires me is Anita Moorjani. She wrote a book called dying to be me. And, yeah, that just always stands out to me as one really important book.
The Four Agreements is another huge one. That just helped me and gave me guidance in terms of how to navigate through life.
Another life changing book for me was, Victor Frankel's Man's Search for Meaning, its just a really, really powerful book, especially me being born in Germany. He's a Holocaust survivor who was a psychologist and yeah just has a really powerful way of reflecting on humanity, there is just so much wisdom in it.
Another person who very much influenced me is Gabor Mat'e, and his approach to addiction and mental health. He developed an approach called compassionate inquiry, which I'm just finishing my studies in and, has just deeply, deeply changed my life really.
And then another one, is one that I receive daily, its a daily quote newsletter and it always moves me and I've been following them for a long time, its from Abraham hicks and Esther Hicks, the messages always feel so digestible and there's just always those truth nuggets in there, and its in my inbox every morning.
What does #iamspirit mean to you?
Well the first thing that comes to mind is that, that very thing, I am. I am much more than I sometimes think I am, I am much more than this mind, than this human body and spirit to me is like, its just the essence of life, its the core, its what we're all made of and that understanding that we're all made of this, so, if I am spirit, your spirit, and it's all interconnected. The moment I reflect on that I feel the peace run through my system, because I feel compassion I feel understanding. It brings me a sense of calm.