With her zestful personality and down-to-earth relatability, marriage celebrant Kahani Motiani weaves enchanting love stories throughout Geelong, Melbourne and beyond.
Q. What inspired you to become a celebrant?
Kahani: I don’t think many celebrants, or certainly none that I’ve met, set out early in life with the clear intention of being a marriage-maker! Excitingly, it’s become more of a thing that people other than your retired aunt decide to do…
For me, it stemmed from a previous business that my partner and I ran for two years - a local meal service called She’ll Be Apples. When we decided to close that business, realizing it wasn’t aligned with the lifestyle we aspired to, I was left wondering what next. I knew I wanted to pursue something that gave me the same sense of satisfaction that came with running my own business, but in a capacity that better utilised my strengths and could be tailored for a better work-life balance.
It dawned on me that becoming a celebrant could, quite miraculously, combine my key passions and existing skill set – public speaking, creative writing, and the business bits and pieces I’d learnt, but perhaps most of all, a fascination with people and their stories – of joy, romance, and love. Signing up for the Cert IV in Celebrancy felt more ‘right’ than any other career-related decision I’d made. And golly, do I feel lucky that this is my job today.
Q. What does self-care mean to you and what role does it play in your life?
Kahani: Self-care is as much of a necessity within my schedule as just about anything else. I have learnt that I enjoy every other part of my life – from spending time with family to performing ceremonies, answering emails to simply cooking dinner – far more when it’s in balanced proportion with moments to myself. I guess I see self-care as partly about preventing burnout (which I’m really rather prone to!) and partly about pleasure for the sake of pleasure. Because without pleasure, what’s the point?
Q. How do you like to practice self-care? Are there certain activities/rituals that best work for you?
Kahani: I find I’m likely to skip self-care unless I actually schedule some form of it into every day of my upcoming week, which I plan out in my diary every Sunday. That said, I’m pretty fluid with what my daily self-care looks like, and variety is what keeps it exciting for me. Some days I plan in some mindful movement – a walk in nature or a snippet of self-guided yoga just at home before starting the day. Other days, my self-care is more of a ‘treat’, like a trot down to my closest café for a pastry that I’ll take home to nibble in bed with Game of Thrones on. Often it’s a ten-minute ritual, sometimes it’s an hour-long outing. The main thing for me is that I’m choosing activities that I will genuinely look forward to.
Q. Self-care isn't always easy. What advice do you have for anyone who's struggling to prioritise themselves?
Kahani: My advice is to remember that we do not exist in isolation as human beings. When we don’t give ourselves that time to recharge, we all too often find ourselves more tired, run-down, or snappy as a result. The thing is, our personal wellbeing isn’t the only thing impacted. It has a flow-on effect to those around us. To the people we love, who not only want to see us with a full tank because they care for our happiness, but who need us to replenish our tank in order to be the partner, parent, sibling, or friend that they deserve. When I remember how important my own self-care actually is for my partner, my family, and the couples I work with, the people who have to be around me, I’m much more motivated to factor it in.
Q. Do you have a favourite quote, mantra or role model that inspires you to practice self-care?
Kahani: There’s a hilarious quote that says: Adulthood is saying “But after this week things will slow down a bit” over and over until you die.
When I first read this, I thought: holy cow, that is so true. That is so me. And I laughed at myself, but then realised I really didn’t want to be the person who says that. Over and over until I die. So I love that this quote encourages me to prioritise self-care, no matter how busy life is. We have to make time for it, and not after waiting for this ‘current craziness’ to pass (we all know it’ll simply be replaced with something else). We have to make time for it now.