featured on the essential life

The Essential Life


Welcome to The Essential Life. We are truly touched to have you hear with us & are so grateful to you for joining us. 

About The Essential Life

Here at The Essential Life, we are often asked, who are we exactly? We thought it was time, in the spirit of authenticity, to pull back the mask & let the community see us for who we truly are. Like each member of our community, The Essential Life has a story & it is with great humility & immense Gratitude that we are able to tell it & that you are here to receive our message.

The Essential Life's journey began in Vancouver, British Columbia. That was where our founders, Britten Thompson & Sean Douglas, met & fell in love. When we speak of their love, we mean, they fell in love with one another & in love with the beautiful city of Vancouver. These two elements of Britten & Sean's lives are the major themes running through The Essential Life even today. Love, & the impression Vancouver left on their lives play a huge role in what The Essential Life is; how we have grown & developed as a community; & where The Essential Life is headed.

As an Australian native, Sean's time in Vancouver was limited. While Britten was happy in Vancouver, her love for Sean superseded her patriotism for her home in Canada. Together, the two headed to The Land Down Under & endeavoured to make a home in Australia. As Sean & Britten began to settle into their new home, the difference between where they had been & where they ended up slowly became apparent. While the differences between Sean's native country of Australia & Britten's native country of Canada are joyous & to be celebrated, it was the differences within themselves & the juxtaposition between who they'd both been when they met, versus who'd they grown into, that lead Sean & Britten to conceive of & create The Essential Life. Today, Sean & Britten live together in their home in Newcastle, New South Wales. They share their home with their "cat clan", Arya, Ashlynn & Alaska.

Sean & Britten's story weaves itself into every aspect of The Essential Life. Their story is all about personal growth, change, & challenges, with a little bit of sustainable living thrown in for good measure. The Essential Life was created with all of these ideals in mind, with the vision of connecting like-minded people & enabling the growth of a community built on sharing & supporting one another as we continue our journey of perpetual forward motion & growth.

The Essential Life is built on top of a firm foundation of partnership & collaboration. We are always looking to connect with individuals, businesses & organisations with whom we can work together to elevate one another, our community at large & the world around us. If your values align with the vision of The Essential Life, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us here

Meet Britten

Born in the wilds of Northern Alberta, Canada, Britten has country in her blood &, as they say in Alberta, you can take the girl out of Alberta, but you can't take Alberta out of the girl. Britten's Albertan roots are most evident in her love of country music & Steve Earle. She also has a passion for the simple things in life, loves horses &, since moving to Australia, has been over heard, on more than one occasion, talking about how much she misses winter.

In addition to her understated patriotism for Canada, her home & native land, Britten loves cats, anything vanilla scented & enjoys organising things alphabetically. Even more than this, however, Britten is passionate about wellness & supporting others in their wellness journey, which is why she created The Essential Life. Britten's own wellness journey began when she discovered Essential Oils. It was the enticing aroma of Essential Oils that initially sparked Britten's interest, however, it was their healing power & therapeutic properties that convinced her to invest all of herself in her own wellness & the wellbeing of others.

When Britten was 19-years-old, she was attending school at the University of Winnipeg. While studying marketing, she was also heavily involved in the school's athletic programs & this was how she paid her tuition, through scholarships. University level athletics were significantly more difficult than Britten was used to & her body began showing signs of overuse. At least, that was what Britten assumed was happening, as her feet began aching & her knees left her in debilitating pain. Rather than taking it easy, however, Britten wanted to push through. She wanted to prove to herself that she "had what it takes", so, rather than rest, she worked harder. 

This continued for more than a year. The pain got so bad that Britten found herself unable to sleep at night. If she had classes in the morning, she'd usually have to skip them because the pain in her feet was so bad she couldn't get her shoes on. What was worse, the intense pain was now in her hands. As the pain worsened, she found she couldn't keep up with the physical demands of athletics anymore, & she was forced off of her team. Now 21-years-old, Britten was without her scholarship, & the pain in her feet, knees & hands had begun to manifest itself in physical deformities. Faced with unequivocal evidence that what was happening to her body was much more than the riggers of physical training, Britten finally took herself to a doctor.

While Britten's journey to diagnosis was a long & painful one which included a misdiagnosis of leukaemia, the abridged version is that rheumatoid arthritis had been ravaging her body for the last two years. Unchecked by any sort of treatment, the autoimmune disorder had done significant damage to Britten's body. Heartbroken, & feeling responsible for the destruction of her body in spite of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Britten headed back to live with her family in Calgary, Alberta.

There, her health continued to deteriorate despite receiving aggressive treatment for the disease. Now, however, things were substantially worse. RA continued to take its toll on Britten's joints. She could no longer put her shoes on herself, squeeze toothpaste out of a tube, or dress herself in clothing with buttons or zippers. In addition, the medication she was taking to keep her arthritis in check was worsening her vision, leaving her open to sickness & upsetting her stomach to the point she couldn't eat. After a year of treatment, Britten hadn't experienced any improvement, she'd dropped down to 90 pounds, was tired all of the time & profoundly depressed. 

While having arthritis wasn't anything that Britten could so anything about, she felt that her level of fatigue & depression were something she could fight against. Always a fighter, Britten began pursuing a second University degree. She started studying communication & media studies full-time, while maintaining a full-time job at a record store & a part-time job at a book store. During this time, Britten's three closest friends move to British Columbia, Canada. It was her first time visiting them in Vancouver that she realised Vancouver was a place she wanted to be. Upon graduating from the University of Calgary in 2009, Britten packed all of her things into a pick-up truck & headed west. This was her first step on her wellness journey. 

While walking down Vancouver's West 4th Ave. Britten discovered a shop which had Ultrasonic Diffusers set up outside diffusing a blend of Essential Oils. Though working as a freelancer writer at the time, Britten was so intrigued with these great smelling oils, she decided to apply for a job at this shop. She began working at the store part-time & invested a lot of her spare time in studying & learning about Essential Oils & natural wellness. She fell so in love with Essential Oils, that she put herself through Aromatherapy training & became a certified Aromatherapist in addition to her University degrees in marketing & communications. 

Through her study of Aromatherapy & Essential Oils, Britten learned to manage her arthritis naturally. Using a combination of Lavender, Cypress & Ginger Root Essential Oils, Britten was able to stop inflammation & put an end to pain. The affects of this were so profound, she couldn't stop telling everyone & anyone about the affect Essential Oils had on her body. Now, five years later, Britten is still telling everyone about the astounding benefits of Essential Oils & natural wellness. Here's the full story regarding the Essential Oils Britten uses to manage her arthritis

It is her own first-person experience with Essential Oils & her desire to share her story, that lead Britten to creating The Essential Life. At the time, she wanted to create a community founded in Essential Oils, with wellness at its core. Since its inception, however, The Essential Life has grown into so much more & has begun to mean so many different things to so many different people. As more & more readers began to share their personal experiences with Essential Oils & their own wellness journeys, Britten wanted to give them a platform to share & an opportunity to connect with others, from all of the world, who could relate & offer support. While this is largely what The Essential Life has become, Britten & The Essential Life are far from finished. For The Essential Life, the sky is the limit, & we're going to keep going until we get there.

If you'd like to connect with Britten, or if you'd like to get in touch with The Essential Life with regards to partnerships, collaborations, or to share your own story, please contact us here

Meet Sean

Born & raised on the east coast of Australia, Sean has always been passionate about nature, the outdoors & finding out how things work. The pull of Fitness & wellbeing have been steady in the undercurrent of Sean’s life, leading him to pursue various careers including; Life coach, Personal trainer, & Psychologist, while his desire to create & fix things has drawn him to positions including stone masonry & Marine construction.

On the recreational side of things his love of the outdoors has lead him to pursue many pastimes, including surfing, scuba diving, martial arts, hiking, running, with his latest passions being the happy, albeit unusual, bedfellows of Yoga & Mountain biking.

His creative streak has been fulfilled at various times by photography, painting & glass blowing, with the latter being something he discovered while living in Vancouver, Canada.

While at High School Sean volunteered as a junior Karate instructor, teaching the white & yellow belts in his class. During this time he taught a young boy with mild Autism. At the time very little was known about the condition & this inspired Sean to learn as much as he could about it in order to help the child fit in. This research lit a spark that led to studying Psychology at university, & while studying Sean worked part time developing & implementing 1-on-1 strategies for helping children with Autism attend regular preschools. After graduation Sean continued working with Autistic children until he began to suffer emotional burnout. The experience of first hand emotional burnout inspired Sean to expand his very calculated & scientific approach to life & opened his mind to the areas of mindfulness, meditation & spirituality.

Sean realised that he needed a sea-change, & this Sea-change took place in the form of a snap decision to move half-way around the world to Canada. Equipped with a new open-minded approach to life, & his trusty hiking pack stuffed with all his worldly possessions, Sean set off for the stunning Pacific Northwest Coast, & landed in Vancouver. As it turned out Vancouver is an excellent place for someone who is looking to re-evaluate life, open their mind & recharge their psyche in nature. The stunning backdrop of the North Shore mountains were the stage for Sean’s awakening into the power of mindfulness, & its ability to overcome stress, anxiety & fear. Sean’s healing process was so profound that he felt the need to share this new-found way of looking at the world with all who would listen, leading him to begin hosting an online forum for sharing techniques, tips & thoughts on all things related to enriching your life through mindfulness. Sean then went on to hosting small clinics on practising mindfulness, held in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, a huge pocket of lush forest found right in the city. With days filled with Hiking, biking & Yoga Sean lived a charmed life in Vancouver with his partner Britten, until the longing for being closer to his family drew him back to his country of birth.

Now back in Australia Sean still enjoys sharing the power of living mindfully with others through online coaching, & can usually be found either dodging Snakes & Kangaroos while exploring the lush bushland around his new home, or working on his Yoga practise in one of Newcastle’s many excellent studios.


Also on the essential life

New On The Essential LIfe:


to be featured:

  • practice self care each day
  • tag @theessentiallifewellnes
  • include #30daysofselfcare in each post