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Decolonising the whitewashed wellness world

Grace Crivellaro -

From a young age, proud Yorta Yorta woman Allira Potter knew she had always been spiritually attuned. But it wasn't until after she hit "rock bottom" that she began to tap into her intuitive gift.

"I was always really spiritual. My mum was also really spiritual. And I sort of was like, 'Oh, that's kind of weird. I'm not going to get into that,'" Potter told NIT.

"When my Mum passed away, she gave me a deck of her cards. I thought ... 'I'll probably never use these.'

"And then a couple of years ago, I hit rock bottom, I had to lean on something when I was trying to go sober and change my relationship with alcohol and drugs.

"And I found her deck of cards. From then on, I really tapped into the spiritual presence that was within me."

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Allira 🌙🐍✨ (@allira.potter)

The self-proclaimed "sassy, psychic witchy sister" now works as a Reiki practitioner, meditation teacher and life coach, helping others to "thrive at their fullest capacity".

Over the years, Potter had dipped her toes into many different careers including public relations, modelling and photography.

It was during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement that Potter became a fierce influential figure, educating her online audience on topics like casual racism, white privilege, and wellness practices that have their roots in Indigenous culture.

By sharing her voice Potter's platform grew, and as a result, so did her business â€" enabling her to leave her corporate role in August last year.

"I worked in a corporate job for the last five years. I hated it. And they knew that I hated the job," Potter laughed.

"But it served its purpose. And I had always manifested working for myself. But when the Black Lives Matter movement happened ... it just blew up. I think people just really engaged in my socials and the work that I was doing."

Through her professional practices and socially broadcasted messaging, Potter remains committed to transforming and decolonising the "whitewashed" wellness industry.

She not only embeds cultural elements into her practices, re-aligning them with their cultural roots, but she also actively works towards making increasingly expensive wellness services more accessible for First Nations people.

"I make sure that my services are accessible and are for free for mob that can't afford it, which is something that's really important to me," Potter said.

"I'm making sure that my space is a culturally safe and aware space."

While Potter said simply existing in the wellness space is helping debunk widespread wellness narratives, she said there is more the wider industry can do.

"We need more culturally safe spaces. We need brands and businesses acknowledging Aboriginal culture," she said.

"It can be as simple as having a plaque with an Acknowledgment of Country at the front of your building or doing an Acknowledgment of Country before you run your class.

"And I think people need to do their research. I just say to people, 'Don't go and throw out all your sage and palo santo, but just understand why you're using it.' It's not just to clean energy, but it comes from a deep longing culture."

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Allira 🌙🐍✨ (@allira.potter)

In the lead up to Invasion Day, Potter stresses that self-care is more important than ever to avoid cultural fatigue.

She reminds mob to "understand your boundaries and say no to people and disengage in conversation that will trigger".

"Look after yourself and surround yourself with other mob, too. Vent about it and just talk about it."

By Grace Crivellaro


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