On the streets of Sydney just a few months ago, we met Nathalie Darcas, one of the faces of our Winter ‘17 collection. The half Australian, half French model lights up a room and not only because of that stunning smile, although that helps. As we got to know Nat we discovered that she lives for greenery and the outdoors and she can kick it with the boys just as comfortably as she can walk in six-inch heels. She believes that happiness is a choice and that each thought we have decides how we feel. To find out more about how to make this beauty smile, we chatted to Nat about all things happy.
WHERE IS YOUR ULTIMATE HAPPY PLACE?
There are a couple of places that instantly lift my spirits, the little mountainous state of Vermont in the states being one of them. The nostalgia from my childhood years spent running around completely free is a big factor behind why it means so much. I am so grounded and filled with positivity when I’m there.
I’m also a big believer that I could be anywhere, whether it be having breakfast with one of my closest friends in a little café, watching the sunrise on a morning run, waking up next to someone I love, or just taking shelter under a tree during a rainstorm. If I am feeling happy within myself, my happy place could be anywhere.
IF YOU ARE NOT PHYSICALLY THERE WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP EVOKE IT?
I go anywhere that is outdoors and green. I have a pretty strong memory of Vermont so it really isn’t that hard to evoke!
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU HAVE TAKEN IN THE NAME OF HAPPINESS?
Listening to my gut and moving to New York to pursue work in a very, very fickle industry.
DID IT PAY OFF?
Yes, yes, and yes. The amount of personal growth that went on was huge. I used to get really down and anxious when it came to uncertainty, as I wanted everything to be planned as much as possible. This decision forced me to take every day as it came. The opportunities and the people that came into my life as a result of being open and going with it were truly the best.
IF YES, WHAT ABOUT ANY RISKS THAT DIDN’T WORK SO WELL? WHAT DID THEY TEACH YOU ABOUT HAPPINESS?
There have been lots of different dreams and ideas I’ve had over the years that haven’t gone to plan. What I have learnt about happiness is to let yourself grieve about the bad things for a day or two then pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE WORLD WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN EVERYONE IS DOING WHAT THEY LOVE?
The world would be a much more relaxed place. You know when you meet someone with incredible energy and you walk away touched by it? I think that has a domino effect. And that would happen a lot more.
WHO IS THE HAPPIEST PERSON YOU KNOW?
I don’t know if I can name just one. So many people are happy in their own individual way, whether they just have a naturally cheerful disposition or really actively work and practice the art of being happy.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST THING THEY HAVE TAUGHT YOU?
That happiness is a choice, you will always have your up and down days, it won’t always be smooth sailing but it’s how you choose to react to each moment and the thoughts that you choose to project that define how you feel.
WHAT DOES HAPPINESS FEEL LIKE FOR YOU?
When I feel truly happy it’s like I am overcome with this incredible contagious energy and everything seems to make total sense.
TALK US THROUGH A HAPPY DAY FOR YOU…WHAT’S INVOLVED OR PERHAPS NOT INVOLVED?
Waking up feeling well rested wherever I am, going for a walk or a run if it’s a beautiful day… always a coffee. A yummy, non-rushed breakfast with a friend or working on an exciting job, feeling like some hard work has paid off, feeling productive, and feeling present.
DO YOU HAVE A LIFE MOTTO?
When I am faced with some bad news or am just having a shitty day I try and remind myself that I am the only person that can make myself happy and that my positive or negative thoughts are a choice. This always puts me back on track.
WHAT’S A SIMPLE PICK UP THAT WORKS FOR YOU EVERY TIME?
Taking myself for a walk or run, eating some chocolate or actually combining the two. The other day, my housemate and I walked the 1 km to Messina and back. I honestly can’t explain how happy that made me.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THOSE WANTING TO LIVE A HAPPY LIFE?
Try not to worry about what everyone else is doing.
WHEN YOU WERE A KID, WHAT DID YOU ENJOY DOING MOST?
Being outdoors and surrounded by nature. Working on my little vegie patch that consisted of one little tomato plant, running around naked in the sprinkler, playing capture the flag on a team full of boys. The simple things.
ARE THERE ANY ELEMENTS OF THAT IN YOUR WORK TODAY?
I get to be outdoors all the time for work. Ironically the uncertainty that I used to struggle with has become a huge part of what I love. I love not knowing what’s around the corner.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’D LOVE TO TELL YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF?
It’s ok to not have a plan.
AND YOUR 80-YEAR-OLD SELF?
You gave it a red-hot go.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WERE DOING AT 8 YOU HOPE YOU’RE STILL DOING AT 80?
I hope that by the time I get to 80, the majority of my life choices will have been made on the basis of staying true to myself. I hope I feel as free and content in being myself as I did when I was 8.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHEERLEADER?
My mum and my best friend Jude J I couldn’t ask for more loving and supportive women in my life. They have both always supported everything I do wholeheartedly. Their patience for that matters is also unwavering.
WHOSE GREATEST CHEERLEADER ARE YOU?
My closest friends and family.
WHAT IS ONE THING ALWAYS GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU SMILE?
One of those crazy colourful sunsets, two people who are really in love, random acts of kindness, and that very first bite of pasta or sip of red wine when you’re out to dinner.
PLEASE FINISH THESE SENTENCES:
If I wasn’t afraid I would… travel more, love more, put myself out there more with work.
I come alive when…I fall in love, when I hear a song for the first time that completely gets under my skin, walking out of an airport in a foreign country for the first time and having that initial moment of taking it all in, watching a big storm roll in.
Every day I…brush my teeth.
If I ruled the world… I would make sure everyone had some sort of garden, had a handful of loving people in their life, and I’d also make everyone eat Nutella crepes for breakfast.