If there's one noticeable shift that I've taken in the past year it's putting my connection with nature first. I left a big concrete jungle for the wispy spanish moss trees of the south and I've used this little swampy lily pad as a jumping off point to deeply explore my connection with nature. Maybe it's the yoga that helped me see inside myself enough to understand what really helps me feel good and I've tried to incorporate that in every aspect of my life.
Because most days I'm working from home it's really easy to get caught up on the couch. It's so cozy and comforting. I totally get it! But there are days that my mind starts to wander, anxiety creeps in, or I get caught up looking at instagram and feel terrible about life so I grab a blanket or throw on my sneakers and drive to the park. I did this one weekend with my fiancee and we just sat on the grass watching the wind blow through the moss. It was so therapeutic and it completely reset my mindset. I'm also working on using the summer to be in the mountains more and really explore that connection. Any great National Parks that you recommend?
Discover Natural Beauty
I can say that 85 percent of my skincare/makeup routine is simple and as organic as possible. The beauty industry hasn't been regulated since the 1930s (!) and brands like RMS and Beauty Counter have been publicly voicing their concern about harmful ingredients in cosmetics. It can feel overwhelming so I made a rule for myself that my products have to have a very limited amount of ingredients and I have to be able to understand what the actual ingredient is when I read it. It's a red flag to me when you go to buy a skincare item online and they list 'active ingredients' but not the whole list. They tend to pick out the 'natural' ingredients and what their purpose is but sometimes these ingredients appear almost last on the full ingredient list which means there's less of that in the bottle. The most prominent ingredients are always listed first. Eminence, Sunday Riley (not certified organic but very pure in ingredients), Mad Hippie, and Maya Chia are examples of lines with very simple ingredients. If you're unsure if your product is safe you can go to the Environmental Working Group's website and look up the product. It will give you a wealth of information about the toxic ingredients and what number it rates out of 10 on the toxicity scale.
Learn Ancient Ways
I'm really obsessed with this one and I admittedly am still completely in the dark about it. My personal goal is to be so in-tune with myself that I can have an ailment and know exactly which naturally occurring plant or substance can help cure it. I really love to study ancient cultures and try to tap into that lost knowledge. My fiancee and I always buy each other books for holidays and lately he has been spoiling me with books on herbs and plants. Some of my favorites I love:
- Health and Beauty in the Rainforest: Malaysian Traditions of Ramuan
- Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide
- American Indian Healing Arts by E. Barrie Kavash and Karen Baar- picked this one up at the book store at Mii amo Spa
- Not a book but I love Kimberly Snyder's Podcast Beauty Inside Out. She talks a lot about food and beauty rituals and Ayurvedic Medicine
Happy Spring and hope this inspires you to deepen your own connection to nature!