Interview: Poet + Wellness Advocate Brittin Oakman

Brittin Oakman, Writer

For the record, can you tell me the name of your business and a bit about what it is that you, personally, do?

Poet Brittin OakmanHi! I’m Brittin Oakman (B.Oakman on social media), a 20-something Canadian living on the westcoast. I’m a writer and health psychologist hopeful (plus a few dozen other things). I am most passionate about creating, and helping people thrive in life. I seek to provide support, not answers. Personal growth is most meaningful when we actively participate in our own journey.

When and how did you know that this particular route was in fact your path?

I will answer this and the next question two-fold, as a writer, and as a health and wellness advocate.

I have been writing in some capacity since the tender age of 9 or so. Back then, the outlet was journaling and occasional poetry. I wish I could find some of that early poetry, it would probably be quite entertaining. I don’t think I can pinpoint a moment where I knew this would be a huge part of my life; it was, perhaps, always a part of me. Sometimes our passions keep knocking at the door and it is up to us whether we embrace them or not; I embraced writing wholeheartedly.

I was raised in a health-conscious household. This was out of choice and necessity. I was the kid that got raisins and ricecakes in my lunch instead of dunkaroos. At the time I was not so impressed; now, I am forever thankful for it. While my home life gave me some exposure to an alternative way of living, I didn’t know that I wanted to go into the health industry until around the age of 21. As an athletic individual, I became interested in personal training and kinesiology. After starting my degree, and going through a difficult time in my life, I realized that I wanted to help people from a holistic standpoint, and decided to switch my studies to psychology. I’ve never looked back. There were many years when I struggled with direction. It was a frustrating journey at times, but I’m glad I didn’t settle for a life that I wasn’t meant for. It can be so easy to get discouraged, but I make an effort to remember all the wonderful and serendipitous things that have worked out (and the things that I’m glad didn’t work out), life holds more magic that way.

B. Oakman PoetryWhat did you do to get here? And where do you still aim to go?

I began sharing my writing on Instagram as an outlet and a way to connect with other like-minded individuals. Oddly enough, it seemed easier to be vulnerable with strangers than friends. For my writing, it was probably the best thing I could have done! It allowed me to explore my voice, gain confidence and belong to a creative community I was otherwise lacking. Writing has never been “the plan”, but rather my sidekick in life.  It is one of the key ways I express myself.  I feel a responsibility to the platform I’ve been given to be an authentic voice, encourage others and evoke change. My next goal is to release a poetry chapbook, hopefully that will come to be in the next year; I’m weary to put deadlines on creative ventures, can’t rush the process!

Gosh, it has been quite the journey; one of grace and healing and surprises. I recently graduated with my BA in psychology and hope to continue my education next year in either a masters or PhD program. It has taken me longer than anticipated to get where I am, and there have been sacrifices along the way, but I know I would not be who I am or where I am without my journey. As a recovering perfectionist, I find it helpful to goal setting and plan ahead. Those strategies keep me on track and help me manage my time. As I mentioned, I want to help people thrive. It’s really as simple as that. One day, I hope to do so by opening a wellness clinic for women.

Even when living out our wildest dreams, bad days still come. How do you handle them?Brittin Oakman Health

Great question! My methods of coping have greatly expanded over the years since developing an anxiety disorder. I have many more ‘tools in my toolbelt’, so to speak. As you’ll read in my writing, I’m a big believer in the power of perspective, something that is within our control and can increase our sense of self-efficacy. I also desire to know myself. To know my strengths and weaknesses, what overwhelms me, what calms me, and so on. Knowing these characteristics helps me identify, process and let go of things that trigger those bad days. I enjoy spending time by myself, which is partly my introverted nature and also because I like the opportunity it gives me to check in with myself. In essence, I strive for balance in my life as much as possible which includes prioritizing self-care and maintaining a healthy social life. If all else fails on a bad day, I go to the gym and lift heavy stuff. 🙂

Do you have a current daily/weekly meditation or yoga practice? If so, which styles do you prefer?

I try to engage in focused breathing daily. It helps me re-centre, especially on a hectic day. I also enjoy Hatha yoga, and a couple rounds of sun salutations if I’m short on time! I would say it is weekly, since my summer schedule has been a bit off kilter!

Which spiritual tools (earthing, crystals, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, sound therapy, astrology, tarot, healing modalities, etc.) do you rely on?

I would say my spiritual tools are heavily tied to my faith, I pray often. I also use essential oils quite often; my current favourite is adding peppermint to my humidifier. In addition, I am working to incorporate mindfulness into my daily routine in an effort to be more present.

Anything else you wish to share?

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit of my story with you. I want to encourage each and every one of you to prioritize your self-care and heart’s desires. As Nayyirah Waheed once said, I am mine before I am ever anyone else’s”. To me, that means that we must learn to be kind to ourselves and honour our dreams, doing so is our birthright and a gift to the world.

Where you can find Brittin:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/brittinoakmanpoetry
Instagram: @b.oakman

All images belonging to and provided by Brittin Oakman ©.

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