A theatre steeped in rich history, two engaging speakers, one dynamic dance troop and an open-hearted audience – the ideal setting for some thought-provoking and mindset-moving transformation. That’s exactly what the intention was for guests that attended Breaking Down Barriers on Friday 24th April - The Holistic Project’s fourth event, and first in Brisbane.

Set in the historic Princess Theatre at Woollongabba, you’d be mistaken for being in a 19th Century church if not for the modern-day embellishments – padded seats, bright lights and state-of-the-art audio system, added to accommodate the needs of today’s patron. Built in 1881, the heritage-listed theatre is one of the oldest in Australia. Its grandeur leant itself beautifully to the evening’s theme of helping people to identify any challenges they were experiencing, and giving them permission to ‘get bigger’ than these mental barriers.

 Photography by Corné & Lara

Photography by Corné & Lara

Speakers, Essence of Living’s Michelle Merrifield and performance coach Brad Cassidy, were the true definition of a dynamic duo on stage. They both live their life to the full, and have this incredible and fundamental ability to practice what they preach.

Michelle drew on ancient yogic wisdom 5000 years old to enlighten the audience on some life principles to guide their own paths forward. She urged audience members to find happiness in the steadiness of life. “We are internally spinning, and externally busy,” she said, offering these simple key points to detox the mind and become more present in our daily lives:

·         Close your eyes

·         Leave the radio off when driving

·         Enjoy sitting in silence

·         Be mindful of what you’re subjecting yourself to.

Being our truest, most authentic selves, can be challenging at times, especially when we are hesitant to accept ourselves fully in each moment, flaws and all. Often we can create illusions of ourselves, by viewing ourselves through the eyes of others. Michelle’s talk helped us to more deeply understand that in acknowledging our own truths, we can be flexible of others’ thoughts about us, and that their perception of the world mirrors their own belief systems.

Brad Cassidy, coach, investor and international fitness model (as well as Michelle’s fiancé!), followed Michelle in authenticity and approach, truly drawing the audience to him by sharing his empowering story from debt and poor health to abundance.

He started building his property portfolio at 23, accumulating nine properties and making his first million by 29. However, he lost it all and ended up sick and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. After learning some hard lessons, he turned his life around to successfully rebuild his portfolio and become financially free within five years.

Brad shared the way he “chunked” his life into pillars, in order to manage it at a results’ level.

His philosophy on self-investment is a great reflection of his own knowledge: educating yourself every day and as much as possible to put you in the best possible stead for success. He engaged the audience with his State Management system to help inspire positive change by shifting perceptions.

He also shared his powerful life mastery system, a simple four-step approach to achieving what you desire in life:

1. Create – If you could have anything, what would it be?

2. Construct – Build a clear vision to support receiving what you want, for example, create a vision board

3. Confirm – Believe what you want to be your truth. Realise your ideal world in your mind

4. Conduct – Materialising what you want, making it happen.

Complementing the speakers’ empowering messages, Ikin Dance Australia dancers graced the stage twice with evocative performances to Cindi Lauper and Florence and The Machine. Lead by talented choreographer Matt Stephan, the ensemble’s sparkling outfits, big smiles and bold moves were enough to get the motivating mojo flowing!

A huge thanks goes to our THP light workers for the evening, Sandy, Di and Maria; to Chris from The Little Princes Espresso; to Andy and Scott from Aisle 6 Productions; and to our sponsors T2, Ingrained, Positive Peeps, Biome and Mantra Southbank.