Lilia Tarawa

I believe in courage and love.

lilia tarawa holistic health coach


I’m human. I cry during movies and fight with my siblings. My heart breaks when I see others hurting.

I had an ordinary life, but one day someone told me it was extraordinary. So I wrote a book about my ordinary, extraordinary life.

I was raised in a religious cult that suppressed me from growing beyond the constructs of social norms and gender defined roles.

I had to challenge everything I believed to break free. My freedom was worth it, but the price was high.

Today I am a writer, speaker and social influencer who is passionate about one thing. Helping others break free.

Tell us what you do

I teach people to tap into their full potential by expanding their vision of what’s possible.

In 2013 I began a quest. I’d broken free from a cult by challenging my own limited perception so I asked, How can I help others see what’s possible?

When I met my mentor Mike Harris my heart and mind were open to what was possible for me. I became a coach because I wanted to GROW. I wanted to find out what I was capable of, push my own limits and help others do the same.

I run a mentorship programme that teaches people to build holistic lifestyle businesses.

Tell us a little bit about your backstory and who you are

I grew up in a commune on the West Coast of New Zealand then relocated to Christchurch in 2009. I was eighteen and had been working as a graphic designer for the commune’s multi-million dollar businesses. I’d fallen in love with the internet and new software technologies when I was 15 years old. I’d taught myself computing and artistic skills. Back then we used Corel Draw, Macromedia and floppy disks!

After moving to Christchurch I attended Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, but 3 years into my degree realised I was unsatisfied with the college curriculum. I left college and went into business with my parents.

I loved the world of business, but didn’t feel plumbing, draining and electrical services were my ‘passion’. My parents were on the same page so we closed that business down and I started working at a bar in town to pay the rent. But I knew there had to be more to life so when my boyfriend introduced me to Michael Harris, CEO of Global Health & Wealth Solutions it was a match made in heaven. I started a business in the health and wellness industry immediately.

How do you define success?

Freedom to choose how I spend time, achieving personal goals and seeing my work make a difference to other people.

What is your favourite quote of all time?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Publishing my memoir Daughter of Gloriavale: My Life in A Religious Cult.

What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Dealing with grief. I lost a lot of people when we fled Gloriavale, the religious community I’d been raised in. I wrote a book about it. I’m still coming to terms with that loss. Every day I learn something new about what it means to live and love with an open heart.

I believe the way to overcome any challenge is to decide that you are bigger than your challenge. Life is all about choices. You can choose to be happy. You can choose to see a brighter, more hopeful future.

What mantra do you live by?

Don’t overthink.

What goal do you have that scares the living hell out of you?

Speaking on stage in front of 10,000 people. Part of me is excited to make this dream a reality; another part of me is scared shitless.

What makes you happy?

My version of ‘happy’ is dinner with friends, reading books, listening to music, attending concerts, watching sci-fi movies and visiting art galleries. My happiness is a fridge full of organic food, yoga on the deck, travelling the world, hikes and playing my guitar. It’s living a life that makes me say, Wow, I’m lucky.

Favourite way to exercise and why?


It focuses on mental wellness plus physical health. It keeps me fresh, open and relaxed. Namaste.

downward dog yoga pose lilia tarawa

Who are your current top 3 influencers?

I believe you’re the average of the top 5 people you spend the most time with. Here are 5 mentors, real and virtual, who have influenced my growth.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, VaynerMedia
Mike Harris, CEO, Global Health & Wealth Solutions (Lilia’s personal business coach)
Dr John Demartini, Founder, Demartini Institute, Human Behavioural Specialist
Brendon Burchard, Most Followed Personal Development Trainer, New York Times Best-selling Author
Marisa Murgatroyd, CEO & Founder at Live Your Message

If you could share one piece of business advice with someone what would it be?

Keep going. Focus on the big picture and don’t worry too much about the details. Expect challenges along the way. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself

I can spin wool, knit & sew (bonus fact #4 : also a fabulous chef)

Favourite dish you like to eat

Pan-fried dumplings with a large dose of Chinkiang vinegar, soy and chilli oil. I like the dip better than the dumplings.

What are 3 words people use to describe you?

Brave. Driven. Articulate.


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