Here at Goodrays, we're constantly inspired by talented, creative and ambitious individuals around the world who use CBD to fine-tune their feel-good.
We recently spoke to Cam Cooney, Mediation Teacher, about the world of meditation, sobriety and CBD.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE WORLD OF MEDITATION?
I came across meditation going through quite a dark and difficult phase within my life. I was quite an anxious and angry teenager, and used a lot of drinking to suppress how I was feeling. When I was 19 I spent six months in rehab for a broken back. And in those six months, I couldn't do the things that I was doing to suppress my anxiety and anger.
I went back to work and was finding everything really overwhelming. I ended up having a breakdown, and all the emotions that I'd been suppressing for so long bubbled to the surface. I knew antidepressants weren’t for me, so I quite literally went home and googled how to be happy. I came across a list, and on that list was "Meditate." I had no idea what meditation was, just a classic stereotype in my head. And I thought, "Why not, I'll find a meditation class near me."
I didn't tell anybody I was going. I thought "If this gets weird, I'm bolting out the door." And I went through the meditation and when I opened my eyes, I felt a massive relief. I started meditating daily for three weeks and everybody started noticing a difference in me. I started thinking "Why do more people not know about meditation?”.
AFTER REALISING THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION, WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO START TEACHING?
Shortly after I started meditating, I moved over to the UK from Australia. I started backpacking, and was doing courses, classes and retreats wherever I could. I decided I'd become a meditation teacher. I studied for three years, and in 2019 I became qualified. Shortly after that, lockdown happened. I started teaching online and then got a studio. I started doing retreats around Scotland and the UK. And it's just grown and grown. I've now got students all around the world which is amazing. And it's very much come from a place of fulfilment internally.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT OR ACHIEVEMENT IN THE INDUSTRY?
I think since becoming a teacher, it's not just about courses and retreats. I’m an ambassador for Movember, for Men's Mental Health, and I do cool challenges with them. Last year I did 60 hours of blindfolded meditation over four days. 15 hours a day, blackout. The idea behind this was 60 hours for the 60 men who take their own lives every hour around the world. Blindfolded because they can't see what's in front of them when they're in this dark place. Meditation because we're taking the attention inwards through that internal voice, which cripples these men.
That challenge massively took off. I got a lot of fundraising from it, and I picked up a lot of news outlets around the UK. And obviously that sounds amazing, but the reason I was doing it was to create conversations and to create an awareness of what Movember and I were doing.
YOU MENTIONED MORE PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MEDIATION, WHY IS THIS?
If you’re stressed, anxious, struggling to sleep, meditation is not going to be the cure. But it’s the first step into understanding a better version of yourself. So when you wake up in the morning, you’re still going to feel the stress because we live in such a fast paced, overstimulated culture. And naturally that is going to trigger our nervous system into this state of fight or flight.
So if we meditate in the morning, it starts to stimulate our rest, repair and recharge nervous system, making us feel more comfortable, more confident. You go to work, you start to get stimulated again. Late afternoon, early evening, you meditate again, bringing you back down. So you fall back into that place of fulfilment, feeling more comfortable, more relaxed.
I always recommend twice a day. 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes in the late afternoon, early evening. So the nervous system just comes right down. That's all it really comes back to, which is quite basic and simple. And that's all meditation ever needs to be.
WHAT DOES WELLNESS MEAN TO YOU?
Obviously being a meditation teacher, meditation is my strongest pillar to my best version. I always say meditation is a valuable tool in a toolbelt. But I want to add so many other tools too. Exercise is a really good one for me because it gets my physical body moving. Things like CBD for me too. Also detoxing, whether social media or coffee. And I’ve also been sober for 6 years.
YOU MENTIONED CBD, WHY DID YOU FIRST TRY IT AND WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN?
The first time I came across CBD was actually a Goodrays drink. I was at a party in London, and was in my early sobriety and I was like, what do I drink, you know?
I think when you're drinking coca-cola and lemonade everybody kind of instantly focuses on the fact you're not drinking. Then I came across a Goodrays, and it was the Elderflower & Yuzu, and because it didn’t look like a normal soft drink it was better in that social situation. I think a lot of the time people are like “oh, you're not drinking?” “you can have one” and that peer pressure can instantly drive you back into taking a drink. And when I was walking around with the Goodrays, or even if I just poured it out, it didn't look like that.
I also really noticed the same feeling where you start to loosen up a little bit in a social situation, from the CBD. I wasn’t drinking alcohol but was like wait, this is making me feel comfortable here. It’s also just such a better alternative because you’re going to feel so much better after having a CBD drink, sleep so much better, wake up the next day feeling so much more refreshed.
After that I came across CBD oil too, and since then I've kind of dabbled between the two.
AND FINALLY, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE FUTURE?
That’s always a really exciting question. There's lots of different things I’d like to achieve over the next couple of years. From a business perspective, I’d like to broaden into more retreats around the UK and maybe move into mainland Europe, broaden my student base so that I'm accessing more people too.
From a personal life perspective, I think long term I'd like to move out of Scotland. My girlfriend and I would like to move to a warmer country and experience that for a little while. I’d really like to challenge myself and live in a non-English speaking country. That quite excites me. And then there's some big challenges/ fundraising that I’d like to do for Movember as well.
There's always something that I'm working towards or looking to grow from.