When my my close friend, leadership coach and all-around amazing human Kristin Meek of WYLD Leadership recently asked me to chat with her team about what wellness and well-being means to me, I jumped at the opportunity. Her business, WYLD, guides individuals and businesses in how they utilize their talents, spend their time, build their tribes, through coaching, retreats, and events. When reading back my answers to their thought-provoking questions, I realized that in the course of the interview I had laid out my manifesto on wellness.Read More
Our bodies are designed to move daily. Exercise is a non-negotiable part of well-being, on a short list of must-do’s for optimal health that includes drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep and eating plentiful fruits and vegetables. The benefits are endless - exercise makes us happier, it keeps our weight in check, which is necessary for the health of our hearts, muscles, and bones. It increases our energy levels, it decreases our chance of chronic illness, it improves our brain health and memories, it helps us relax and sleep better, and it’s even good for our sex lives.Read More
When I first met Sarah Swanberg (M.S. L.Ac. Dipl.O.M.) of Indigo Acupuncture I was struck by her combination of kindness and intelligence. We immediately connected over our passion for all things wellness and she has been an amazing supporter of Inner Light. She is a wellness guru in the local community, and has referred many wonderful clients to us, co-hosted events with us, and we recently started carrying her adaptogen line with Maikana Foods!Read More
Launching the blog this month has been exciting, albeit frightening at times. I never thought I'd start a blog, but this space is a natural extension of Inner Light's mission and an easy way to share more of my personal wellness journey. I hope that you've enjoyed reading along, I can't wait to see where this goes!
As the last post of each month, our Inner Light team will be sharing our monthly round-ups. What we're doing, reading, eating, using, watching... whatever is inspiring us and fueling us at this moment! You all know Haley, our amazing manager who has been working to build this business with me since we opened in July, and Jesse, who started with us in September and is here every weekend. Both these women are a daily inspiration to me and I love what they shared for their monthly finds.
Madewell High Rise Slim Boy Jean: Post-baby pro-tip - buy yourself a pair of jeans you love in a size up. I am not worried about "losing the baby weight" - I actually am opposed to that whole concept - my body is different and I love it more than ever! But it's still not fun to try on jeans that are way too tight. So I invested in a pair of jeans that fit my body now, so I don't have to worry about not having anything to wear. I've been pairing them just with a white tee - nothing feels chicer to me than blue jeans and a white tee! Link here
Suntegrity SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer: I recently learned that sunscreen is one of the biggest and worst polluters of our oceans. Up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen enter the world’s reefs annually, and the main ingredient in most - oxybenzone - rapidly bleaches coral and slows new growth. A single drop in 4.3 million gallons of water — about six and a half Olympic-size swimming pools — is enough to be deadly. So I've been trying to clean up my sunscreen game and I'm obsessed with the feel and look of this reef-safe daily moisturizer. Link here
Nettle Leaf Tea Infusions: My hair started to fall out about a month ago from post-partum hormone changes - people should warn you that your beautiful pregnancy hair is only a momentary thing! Nettle leaf is rich in B vitamins that boost hair health, and I swear it's been helping. I drink it as an infusion - you steep in boiling water in a tightly closed jar for at least 4 hours and then drink at room temp or over ice. Tastes like sea water, in a good way! Nettles are also great for allergies, inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and much more!
Intuitive Being by Jill Willard: I had read some of Jill's interviews on Goop over the years, and recently listened to her podcast with Elevate the Globe. I am loving her book about connecting to your intuition - which we all have. She is a gifted medium and intuitive, mama, and her writing makes a concept that can feel very "woo-woo" easy to understand and access. Buy here.
Alexis Smart Flower Remedies, Ganesh: This is probably my favorite thing I'm using right now. I swear that it is working! Alexis' was trained for a decade by mentors in the Dr. Bach's flower remedy lineage and is also a homeopath. This tincture in particular is for confidence, and I swear it's helped me be bold enough to launch this blog, among many other things! Take 4 drops 4x a day for results. Find in our shop.
Lacy Phillip's Interview on Manifestation on Goop: I have been a client of Lacy's for over two years now, and before that I was following her method on her blog Free & Native. She is an expert in manifestation, and her method works with reprogramming the subconscious to heal limiting beliefs in order to create the life you dream of. Since working with her I've launched two businesses (I was doing interior design before opening my dream business) and had my twin babies. If that's not proof of how well her method works, I'm not sure what is! Read more here.
Outdoor Voices 7/8 Leggings: These are the absolute perfect legging to take you from yoga to spin or even to work (if you're as lucky as me). Shop here.
Alexis Smart Whole Hearted Flower Remedy: This has helped my heart heal and feel more at peace. Healing is a constant practice, but I have felt a definite change in my heart since taking this magical remedy. Take 4 drops, 4 times a day under the tongue.*May be taken more frequently as needed. Shop in store.
Amethyst: I have been working on my mind body connection lately and have kept this stone close to me at all times. Amethyst is the mother of balance, calm, and peace (it also helps eliminate impatience). Shop in store.
WYLD Skincare's Konjac Sponge: I have become completely obsessed with Wyld Skincare's Konjac Sponge. It has completely changed the composition of my skin and leaves it with a smooth, dewy look. My skin prefers the Bamboo Charcoal, but this beauty also comes in French Pink Clay. Shop in store.
Nature Journaling: I've set as a daily habit to put aside time to observe my environment and journal what I see. It can be for any length of time, only a moment or as long as the scene enraptures you. I found myself watching the politics of grackels for over half an hour the other day. I think a lot of us have an idea of "nature" as something we witness elsewhere, outside of where we live. On a trip to the tropics, on the west coast but it's surrounding us all the time. New England is an absolutely gorgeous place and I look forward to recording the creatures that live here!
Hope: What you Eat Matters: I discovered this film on one of my favorite YouTube channels & blogs: Plant Based News. They describe it as a documentary uncovering and revealing the effects of our typical Western diet on our health, the environment, and animals. It is an absolute must watch for anyone interested in learning more about plant-based and vegan diets as well as those looking to renew their belief in the lifestyle. Plus Paul McCartney's a fan. Saying, "This important film highlights the choices we must make to help protect this planet and all its inhabitants." Watch more here.
High Vibrational Beauty: Recipes & Rituals for Radical Self Care: I couldn't resist purchasing this book from Inner Light! It is a true beauty for so many reasons. The cover's a perfect peachy pink and is a great addition to any coffee table collection or bookcase. Throughout its 250+ pages are gorgeous photos of wellness rituals, plants, crystals, and recipes. A ton of recipes. It is gracefully divided by the seasons and I can't wait to delve into all the wisdom for summer habits and creations. Shop in store.
Dragon Fruit: I can't rave about dragonfruit enough, they have become a staple on my grocery store runs. The CAP Beauty book has a quote from their friend a nutritionist Dana James, "Eat only beautiful foods." Dragonfruit fit into that. I've tried them with white and yellow flesh, I prefer the yellow, I've yet to find the gorgeous pink variety. I dream about it. So far my favorite way to eat them is sliced up small with agave drizzled over. It's a perfect afternoon sweet treat.
Ines Longevial: A lucky Instagram find: Simple black and white sketches, particularly of the human figure are a true love of mine and Ines Longevial's art fulfills this and more. She describes her work as concentrating on two principal themes: femininity and nature. See more here.
Self-care is the practice of taking time and space to tend to one’s needs in order to rest, energize, and connect to the Self, from the physical level down to the soul level. It’s a big buzzword in the wellness world and many have said that it is a trend - I believe it is a movement and it is here to stay. It's an essential act that helps us show up as our best self in all aspects of life. It benefits our children, spouses, family, friends and co-workers, as these small acts of love create a positive spiral that reaches outward into society at large.
I’m writing this blog as a way to share my experiences & experiments in self-care and wellness. My self-care journey has superficial beginnings – wedding day preparations. Like many brides, I believed that I had to be perfect to be beautiful and happy on my wedding day. Although my initial aim was physical perfection, my self-care practice led me to what became a spiritual journey. Self-care helped me defeat my body-image issues, anxiety, perfectionism, and low self-esteem. In retrospect I can see that it truly changed my life. I discovered a deep spirituality, connection with my highest Self, and the deepest happiness.
At it’s core, self-care is about love – it is a physical, tangible way to show yourself love. We are all programmed by our culture to be self-critical and these negative thought patterns are deeply ingrained. Neuroscience has proven that thought patterns are wired into our brains, and we can only create new patterns by consistent repetition of new, positive thoughts. Acts of self-care are steps towards re-wiring our brains for self-love and happiness. In a culture that encourages negative self-talk, low self-esteem, and running our bodies ragged, self-care is a small act of revolution to create positive change. It has a ripple effect and raises the love, health and vitality of all those around us.
Self-care has taken on an entirely new meaning and I have been learning new tactics and reprioritizing what it means to me. Motherhood has shattered any lingering attachments to perfection and taught me to truly love myself and my body. I am constantly experimenting and learning my way around the wellness world and I’d love to take you on that journey with me. This will be a space where I share the things I’m already doing, reading about, making, and inspired by in the hopes that it might help or inspire you too and allow us all to learn more about our individual Selfs together.
I’ll leave you with a few things that are self-care rituals for me at the moment. My life has very little rhythm other than the feeding times of my four-month old twin babies. When I do get a spare minute, here are some simple things I’m doing to take care of my Self, with a capital S:
MOMENTS OF MEDITATION: I used to think meditation must be a silent, still twenty or so minutes – another preconceived attachment to perfection that motherhood has beautifully adjusted for me. I now take any collection of minutes I can find to follow my breath and be in my body. Sometimes I find my mind racing while I’m nursing or holding one of the boys and I stop and remind myself – you’re in your body, holding your baby’s beautiful body, and this helps me cherish these fleeting moments.
HEAT THERAPY - BATH & INFRARED: I missed the heat so much when I was pregnant. Baths are great in that they can be super quick – just a 5-10 minute Epsom soak can reset me. Although Inner Light is my business, it has been hard up until now to find the time to sit in the sauna. Now I am trying to use the saunas 2-3x a week. It immediately changes my mood and I love how it gets my heart rate up and circulation going.
MOVING MY BODY: A twin pregnancy is very limiting for exercise – I had to stop spinning at 14 weeks and walking at 30 weeks. In addition to losing all my muscle tone, the 70lbs I gained put a massive strain on my body. Not to mention that I fell and pulled my groin 3 days before giving birth. This is a long way of saying I am very out of shape and it has taken my body a long time to heal. I have been seeing Rachel at Resolution Physical Therapy for pilates-based PT past three weeks and I am so grateful to for her. I am also starting to walk with the boys, which feels so good. While I loved being cooped up this winter with our new family, it feels incredible to be getting back outside.
Thank you for reading my first-ever blog post! I am so excited to share more and be learn on this journey together.