Miann Scanlan, life enthusiast, style icon and social influencer, graced our November cover with passion. Miann depicts the Westfield “Today, I Am” Spring/Summer campaign in all its glory by showcasing the strength and dedication of who she is. Miann is creating a positive change in her personal life and  shares how others can create this for themselves by engaging in her successful blog and social platforms. Miann shares her infectious spirit and love for fashion and experiences with Deputy Editor, Christie Sutherland.

Introducing Miann Scanlan for Westfield, Today, I am…

What does the “Today, I Am” campaign mean to you?

There are no words more powerful than “I am”. The beauty is, we each hold the power to determine what comes after them.

Why do you think knowing and loving yourself is so important?

Knowing yourself is never easy. Our relationships with ourselves change daily and it’s a journey that will continue until the end of time as we grow and mature. I believe loving yourself is a product of loving the gift of life.

What struggles did you have in your journey to self-acceptance?

My journey to self-acceptance has had its ups and downs; I think it’s a concept that for each of us is ever-evolving. It’s a challenge for anyone to adores themself every single day. I’m six months into a back injury, which has meant no running, yoga, or even surfing – which are the three key things that keep me feeling happy and positive. So it’s been a big struggle trying to not only accept my body’s limited capabilities post-injury but also adapt to the muscle loss, weight gain and general unfit feeling. But it all comes down to gratitude. I’m grateful for what I am capable of because it could always be a lot worse. It’s about shifting your focus to always shine the spotlight on the positive.

How did your life change when you became more accepting of who you are?

My life truly changed when I began my relationship with gratitude. Three years ago, after losing a parent to cancer, I took a year off work. I wandered into my first yoga class down at my local gym. It was totally foreign to me and I had no idea what to expect. After a relatively awkward class, I was lying in Savasana when the teacher urged us to adopt an “attitude of gratitude”. From that day forward, my life changed forever. Gratitude is all about love. Loving the great, loving the not-so-great, even loving the downright terrible. Before that class, I used to think of my body simply as a projection – something which people would use to form their opinions of me. Because of that mindset,
I had a whole host of body issues and insecurities. Now, because of my spiritualty, I believe my body is an amazing, complex vessel capable of incredible things from love, to healing, to nurturing and compassion. This body carries my eternal soul around on this earth and, while I’m here, my purpose is to feel fulfilled and to enrich the lives of others.

How would you describe your personal style?

It changes daily and is mostly influenced by my travels. When I’m speeding through the Mojave Desert in a Mustang with my hair blowing in the breeze, Dire Straits blasting on the stereo, I’m the Californian desert. When I’m slipping into a black silk dressing gown wearing nothing but my favourite perfume and diamonds, I’m a French femme fatale. When I stomp through the streets of NYC in my trusty black boots and leather jacket, I’m invincible. When I’m home after a long surf, watching the sunset as the ocean dries on my skin and in my hair, I’m free. I am wherever I am, I am whoever I want to be.

What has been the biggest highlight on your path to self-discovery?

I started documenting my experiences on social media after I lost a parent to cancer and my journey to self-discovery began. It started out as a way for me to express myself, like an online diary. But soon I realised I had an audience who were not only reading my words but responding with similar experiences on their own journey. I’ve always remained extremely honest and open about my ups and downs, in the hope that I can encourage others to do the same. It’s truly touching how, when you reach out, people reach right back.

How do you pull yourself out of an off day and back into positive thinking?

Last year I penned some positive affirmations and stuck them to my mirror. On days when I’m grieving or can’t get out of bed, I force myself to stand up, take a deep breath and recite them. At first it’s difficult and uncomfortable, but by the end I feel a lot better. “Today I am luminous. I love my body, this incredible and complex vessel that is me. I am in awe of my body’s ability to heal, to nurture, to transform, to love and to flourish with vibrant health, divine energy and radiant feminine beauty. I see the perfection in every one of my cells and honor this physical vehicle that I have been blessed with.” – miannscanlan.com

What’s the one message you would like people to take away from this campaign?

Beyond loving yourself, love everyone around you, even those that have hurt you. Because, without them and those difficult experiences, you wouldn’t be the person you are and have the perspective you do today.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt?

To love. Love it all. I’ve learnt to love even the darkest, most painful moments of deep grief. I love them just as much as I love the exes who’ve cheated on me, the bullies at school who tried to break me and even the internet trolls who try to put me down based on my appearance. No matter how low you may feel at certain moments, love truly does conquer all.

So, Today, you are?

Still figuring it out, and I’m excited for what’s to come. The good and the bad.