Real talk: as a journalist I have the pleasure of interviewing a lot of people that I admire. On the flip side, they don’t always live up to my lofty expectations. So when I gave psychic and Indigenous healer Allira Potter a call earlier this week, I was equal parts excited and nervous. Would this proud Yorta Yorta woman be as down to earth and wickedly funny as she was on her Insta stories?
You can stop holding your breath because the answer is a giant yes. Just minutes into our chat it was obvious to see how Potter’s unique realness has garnered her a legion of fans (seriously, her appointments book out in minutes).
For those who don’t know her, Potter is a legit Jill of all trades. She’s a healer and psychic first and foremost, but she’s also a meditation teacher, reiki practitioner and most recently a life coach—yes you’ll want to enrol in the school of Allira Potter asap. In short, she’s a total boss babe and I’m stoked to have her sprinkle a little of her magic at Urban List.
Chatting to me from her Geelong home, Potter got real about how she discovered and honed her gift, how she balances all her side hustles, and most importantly, how she stays on top of her mental health.
Has your spiritual ability always been innate or was there a particular moment where you realised the power you harnessed?
When I was younger I always felt a spiritual presence around me, but as a kid I thought, "what's that? That's not real. That's fake".
My mum was really witchy and she told me [my ability] would come back to me one day. And sure enough it did, when she passed away she gave me her deck of oracle cards and from that point on, it was like, ok I need to pursue something in this space.
Can you do training in that area?
Yes, you can 100% do courses to enhance your gift. I've done my reiki practitioner course and about three or four spiritual development courses in the last two years to develop my skills further. I've also done my meditation teacher training and just recently finishing a life coach course. I'm just constantly studying.
How did you channel your dream of working as a psychic to become your main gig?
About two years ago I separated from my ex-husband and when you do that sort of healing and you dig a little bit deeper, that's when I started to tap into my abilities a bit more. I had this moment where I thought, you've got a gift mate, give it to the world.
It wasn't until this year when Corona happened that I put it out to the wider community because, at that stage, I was only doing readings for my family and friends to build up my confidence. But I bit the bullet and now I’m booked out until September.
Your Insta following in the last few months has just exploded, how do you deal with that?
Pre Black Lives Matter I was sitting at a casual 4,000 followers and it was mainly Geelong and Aboriginal community. Then I did a campaign with Zoe Foster Blake and the Shameless Girls and it's been a ripple effect of people wanting to interact with me, my business booming and my following hitting 17,000 people. It's insane.
You also have a lot of side hustles, how do you balance them all?
My calendar is my best friend. I even get my friends to send calendar invites for dinner reminders so I don't forget. I'm not perfect, I'm still trying to learn to balance it all but I think I've got it pretty well managed at the moment, along with a few mental breakdowns along the way (laughs).
What’s one the biggest hurdles you’ve had to overcome so far?
My mental health is always a hurdle that I'm trying to overcome. It's hard to understand your boundaries and how to just really look after yourself. I'm so open about saying that I suffer from severe anxiety, you wouldn't think I would, but in group settings, I'll freak out. I think that's one of the biggest hurdles for me at present and I think it always will be to be honest.
On the flip side, what’s been your biggest fuck yeah moment?
As much as everyone has said 2020 sucks, I've been like fuck yeah, 2020 has been the best for me. The one thing that did stand out to me was people that I've looked up to while I was growing up have started to follow me on social media for the work that I've been doing, which is mind-blowing to me. I'm just a middle-class bogan who lives in Geelong and you're looking at me for resources? That's definitely been one of the biggest fuck yeah moments so far.
You've been vocal about how the wellness world is incredibly whitewashed, does it get tiring having to educate people about it?
It does. There's 50% of people who want to listen and want to change the narrative. Then there's the other 50% who don't want to have a bar of it and are pretty content in the way that we run the show, so to speak. So yeah, it's fucking draining trying to tell people that some of the shit that they're doing is really inappropriate.
Is your advice to just research the practices you're doing or the classes you're attending?
Yes, research! I'm always speaking from an Aboriginal perspective and I always say to the community if you're going to go to a yoga class, or any sort of wellness space, make sure that it’s a culturally safe space. There is nothing worse than for an Aboriginal Person to walk into a place and there is no acknowledgement of country on the wall or they're not doing an acknowledgement of country prior to a practice.
I feel like it's important that we do change that narrative. In that respect, for our non-Indigenous people, do your research. Make sure the person who is playing the didgeridoo at one of the wellness sessions is Aboriginal because it's culturally inappropriate for them to do that. My quote is Google is your best mate. Someone make a t-shirt with my name next to that quote please.
Looking to the future, what’s next for you?
I want to be my own boss. That's the dream and I can already see it. It's going to happen. And being an Aboriginal woman there has always been this gap with finance, so for me, I'm ready to buy a house and I think that's a really big goal for someone my age and who is Aboriginal.
Lastly, what’s your advice for anyone out there who is trying to work more spirituality/wellness into their everyday life?
A quick little meditation once a day is huge, and it can go for just two minutes. Meditation doesn't have to be you sitting and listening to someone's voice. It can be as simple as going outside and taking a couple of deep breaths in so you can be a little more present.
Image Credit: Leslie Carvitto of Luna Rising