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THE WELLNESS MERCANTILE Fall 2017 / Volume 6

The Fall  Issue / Embracing Change


WELCOME

Editor's Note ERICA JOY DUNN It’s the final rays of an Indian summer as I write this note. There

focus. Within these pages you’ll find ways to surrender

are fewer beach umbrellas in Fort Tilden and more and more

to the season and restore your energy as well as ways

dogs running free in summer’s twilight.

to detox digitally and spiritually.

What I’ve noticed most about the transition from summer to fall

Our amazing contributors have sourced their fantastic

is the clarity. It’s as if the leaves decided their edges weren’t

words of wisdom from the healing arts, holistic

crisp enough and have begun to paint themselves more boldly.

wellness and their own personal journeys toward

The grass catches the sun’s rays more perfectly at each sunset

finding inner beauty. We’re proud to offer up their

and the beginning and end of each breath has more definition

guidance in this season’s issue dedicated to change

inside and out of my body.

and the change possible in all of us.

With this change in season, we begin to see our own edges

If you’re looking for further restoration and renewal,

more clearly. The hazy days of summer give way to a renewed

stop by our community reiki event at Wild Was Mama

sense of self and purpose. It’s as if the crispness of the air

this October 10th, we’d be thrilled to hear your summer

helps us embrace what we have dawdled deciding all summer.

stories and fall wisdom!

With fall, comes focus and new beginnings.   Peace. In order to prepare for all of this change, it’s important to rebalance and restore. We’ve put together a selection of

xx,

writings and recipes that embrace change and encourage  

The Wellness Mercantile 


Why breaking free from your energetic lineage is vital!

    But what was she actually looking for? She could not

Discover the ability to end the patterns from your family system and be free to guide your own destiny.

and dig a little bit deeper in order to understand the origin

work it out. She attempted to fill the void with dancing, drinking, flirting, and working and it quickly became apparent that all of these solutions weren't enough to conceal the empty feeling anymore. The pain had become too much to ignore. It was only then that she started to consider the possibility that she needed to pay attention to herself of it all.      The details might be slightly different, you might even

Words by MARINE SÉLÉNÉE

swap the she for he, but you can’t help thinking that this might easily be you.    Have you ever felt lost, empty or depressed? And even though you are doing your best to heal the discomfort or

   She had just turned 25. She was surrounded, spoiled and

negative, toxic behaviors, you keep catching yourself

loved by great friends. She knew deeply that with every new

repeating the same pattern and story line over and over?

year she had to make the most of life as she was fast

   This was my reality. And, after countless therapies

approaching her thirties. She had no material wants, but she

and healing methodologies, I felt like I had amazingly

still felt empty inside. 
She could never pinpoint the real root

powerful experiences, but there was always a feeling of

of the problem. Instead, she blamed her father for her

incompletion. Finally, I discovered the missing link:

disastrous, passionate and chaotic love life and her mother

Family Constellations.

for not always caring as deeply as she craved and her

 I was so desperate to understand who I was and where

unending dissatisfaction.

I belonged that I said “Yes” to many different


healing experiences. As the saying goes, “Always try one

your life from a strong foundation of your own potential.

more time. Until you feel it’s the last time.” I tried Family

It uncovers and dissolves the blockages affecting your

Constellations and what I received from my first session

relationships, finances, career and health through the

was an enriched understanding of my origins that

story of your family system.

catalyzed a deep release. Things became clearer.

   By the power of acknowledging and accepting the

Everything started to make sense, and as a matter of fact,

complete truth as it is, Family Constellation will break

I stopped blaming my parents for my current

you free from any negative or painful patterns. You will

predicaments, and I decided to take care of myself and

find ‘your place in your family’ and give the place of

my life. After all, they did the best they could.

other family members back to them. You will discover

  

patterns that keep repeating themselves, generation

   What is Family Constellations? It is a therapeutic

after generation, and why. You will feel free and

approach that was founded by Bert Hellinger. He spent

empowered to follow your own destiny with the support

sixteen years in South Africa and participated in group

of your entire family behind you.

dynamics trainings led by the Anglican clergy. He was

   We cannot change our parents or our family, but we

deeply impressed by the results from these methods

can change our perception of them. We can decide to

which proved it was possible for opposites to become

move on. We can decide to stop focusing and obsessing

reconciled through mutual respect. When he went back

over our past, constantly thinking about what are loved

to Germany, he studied many different approaches that

ones should have done better or differently. Again, they

shaped and influenced what became his therapeutic

did the best they could given their own stories and

method Family Constellations or Systemic

constellations.

Constellations. Today, the therapy is known as ‘Movements of the Spirit-Mind.’

    By acknowledging and accepting your family as they

   This therapeutic method is an effective way to

are, you will experience something life-changing. You

transform what is holding you back so that you can live

will feel grounded, capable and at peace with who you


are today and your past story. It will restore the power into your hands, with a strong base and a deep love for your life and yourself. So, are you in? 

   Starting in October 2017, Marine Sélénée will offer her first 9 month training in Family Constellations at Reflections, Conscious Living and Yoga in New York.      This program will greatly enhance your work and/or personal practice. We will learn how to use the method of Family Constellations, through exposing the root causes behind many emotions, behaviors, fears and reactive patterns that prevent us from moving on in our daily lives.   For more information and to register for a session: You can email Marine at marine@marineselenee.com or visit www.marineselenee.com.


The Spiritual Practice of Planning Your Wedding Words by MICHELLE KEINAN

    There is so much pressure to have the “perfect” wedding (whatever that means) and here are just a few of the factors at play: The Wedding Industry      It’s common knowledge that once you say the word “wedding,” everything doubles in price and everyone has an opinion on how things have to be at your intimate ceremony, but you don’t have to accept the status quo. It’s important to remember that the wedding industry is an industry: a group of companies all about making as

 Why do so many brides-to-be have meltdowns and

much money as possible by making you feel bad if your

wedding planning considered so stressful? Having a

event doesn’t live up to the perfectionistic standards

meltdown is just an outer expression of a lot of inner

shared across thousands of Pinterest boards online. It’s

turmoil and dissonance, and that’s what happens when

easy to either feel pressure about what you must have at

you get burnt out, stop taking care of yourself and put

your wedding or bad if you can’t afford it or live up to

your needs last. You don’t have to go nuts when planning

the expectations of others who buy into the industry’s

your wedding (or any other important event in your life).

way of thinking.

Lucky for you, you’re an adult and you get to make decisions that won’t make you dissolve into a giant

Our Society

toddler screaming, “I don’t even know WHY I’m doing

   Everyone says your wedding should be THE happiest

this stupid wedding for you people!” at their friends, who

day of your life. There is so much pressure for you to

roll their eyes and wish you would just frickin’ chill. I’ve

look your best and put on a happy face that there is no

seen this happen…not fun.

space for women to have ALL the emotions that come


with making such a huge life and identity transition.

moments of love and connection as your community

Getting married is a big deal, and it’s hard to process this

prepared you for this new chapter of life (not just

evolution in your identity when you’re feeling

drunken shenanigans, penis paraphernalia, and a nice

overwhelmed with planning and organizing a big event.

brunch that your grandmother would deem tasteful). A

It can feel like you’re trying to validate your relationship

wedding is a ceremony and just the beginning of an

and prove to the world that your love is totally perfect

incredible change in your life. Even if you’ve lived

while you’re on a “bride’s diet” to fit into your wedding

together for a while, you’re going to go through lots of

dress. In America especially, there is little space for you

emotions, and they won’t all be pretty or what you think

to share your worries, fears, or turmoil without being

is “acceptable.” How can you be gentle with yourself and

afraid of how people will react or what they’ll think of

hold space for yourself? And how can you make sure

your relationship.

you’re getting support that goes deeper than choosing music for the DJ?

   News flash: evolving from your single lady identity into a wife and partner is a lot to deal with, no matter

   It seems almost ironic that as you plan your own

how much you love your partner or how excited you are

wedding, you can get lost in all the details, decisions (and

to get hitched. It’s a beautiful, spiritual process where

drama), and lose your connection to yourself and your

you could learn a lot about yourself and grow

joy. But you can take ownership. Wedding planning can

immensely… but no one teaches women how to evolve in

be it’s own self-love process and an opportunity to

a healthy, supported way.

deepen your relationships. Plus, you get to feel the power and love of your community showing up for you -

Lost Cultural & Spiritual Traditions

if you allow it. So how do you stay true to yourself and

   In the past, women had rites of passages, rituals and

not get swept up in the wedding vortex? It’s all about

gatherings to prepare them for big transitions. There

making space for yourSELF as you plan your wedding.

were gatherings that centered on sharing wisdom, deep

Here are my tips.   


around you. Draw on your community, and more than

if it turns you on and makes you excited, it’s a yes. If not,

just your partner-to-be. No matter how much you love

it’s a no. And if you hate doing it, then delegate it! Easy.

each other, it is unhealthy to rely on one person for all of

You’ll miss how good it feels if you try to micro-manage

your support and needs.

everything, so make sure to take “feel good” breaks to step back and soak in all the moments: dress shopping,

   Feel your feelings

cake tasting, seeing your guests smiling at you. It’s true

   It can be easy to focus on the event planning, but

you’ll have many decisions to make, but if you follow this

sometimes we get really busy on the outside when we’re

simple rule, you won’t get overwhelmed and will be able

trying to avoid dealing with intense feelings we’re having

to increase your enjoyment with every choice, especially

on the inside. There is so much is going on inside of you

as you whittle down your guest list ;)

as you count down towards your wedding day that, if you’re not careful, you’ll miss the beautiful unfolding and

   Work on your insides (not just on your outsides)

softening process that teaches you so much about this

   If you think diet and exercise and “looking good” in

moment in womanhood. Becoming a wife is a beautiful,

your photos is how you take care of yourself in

emotional and spiritual process. It doesn’t just happen

preparation for the day, you’re probably adding more

the moment you say “I do.”

stress to your experience and falling into another

   It’s okay to be nervous and unsure about things or

perfection trap. Your partner fell in love with you for

how to be. By trying to suppress your emotions or

who you are, not what you appear to be and your friends

worries, you will just make them stronger. The first two

and family feel the same way. Of all the things you have

steps to self-care are crucial in helping you work

the opportunity to focus on while you plan your wedding,

through your stress so you can be happier overall, but it

always choose love.

takes admitting that you’re having these emotions and

    When manifesting a ceremony of love and

experiences that allows you to process them and make a

partnership, stop reading magazines that make you feel

difference. Allowing yourself to have the full spectrum of

like dieting is a normal part of the planning process, and

your feelings is healthy and normal. If you don’t know

do something really nourishing for your soul: creating a

how to talk about or process what you feel, start with a

deep and supportive relationship with yourself. Getting

private journal where you can get things out of your head

married doesn’t mean you suddenly have someone else

and onto paper. Nothing you write is as bad or weird as

to rely on for all of your happiness. It’s still your job to

you might be convincing yourself.

make yourself happy, and this is not contingent on a number you see when you step on the scale. Cultivating

   Don’t make it perfect—make it feel good

your happiness, your satisfaction and your passion is

   You know what happens when you get too busy with

about connecting with your innermost desires for what

the details and try to control everything? You miss the

you want in life and then getting out of your own way to

deeper, joyous experience of bringing a dream to life.

make them real. If you focus on developing a deep

Give yourself a break and don’t get caught up in making

relationship with yourself, where you listen to what you

everything perfect. Your guests don’t really care what

need and give yourself exactly that, then life will start to

you wear or what their dinner options are, they just want

feel like magic (and not just because you’ll never have to

you to be happy and have the opportunity to celebrate

go on a terrible first date again).

your love with you. People notice when things come from

   Going inside means listening to yourself and dealing

the heart, so when making your plans and decisions, go

with the stuff that brings you down or holds you back. If

with what that literally feels best to you, and not what

you don’t, you’ll end up bringing it into your relationship

you “should” do or what other people think is the right

and it will fester over time. But if you are brave and

choice. Make it your mission to have a feel-good wedding

commit to your relationship with yourself before you

planning experience, and you’ll feel less anxiety. Judge

make the commitment to your betrothed, you’ll be

everything by this criteria:

setting yourself up for a lifetime of confidence, peace    


and deep love.

lost in planning the party details and take care of your

   How? Make it part of your self-care routine, or if you

mind and body as much as you take care of your guests’

want to really make a shift and quickly, reach out for

expectations. I created Radically Selfish Brides to

support. It doesn’t have to be therapy or looking at your

facilitate this rite of passage. It’s a customized and

past. You can find a lot of power and inspiration by

personal spiritual process for you, and a beautifully

connecting to your deepest desires and thinking about

planned gathering for your tribe of powerhouse women

the future that you want for yourself as you plan with

where you simply show up and are taken care of. You’ll

your partner. Writing in a journal is a powerful way to

arrive on your wedding day feeling supported,

connect. Start by asking yourself, “What does my dream

nourished, and grounded in love—not logistics.

life look like?” or “What makes me the most happy?” or

Empowered women are creating new traditions to

even “If I didn’t have to worry about money, what would

embark on their life passages. What does your

I spend my life doing?”

experience look like? Let me design and plan that for

   Go deep with yourself, and notice not only your

you.

responses, but also your reactions to these questions as well as your beliefs about what is possible for you. Listening to and honoring yourself is the ultimate act of love, so practice it at every available moment, even when doing mundane things like deciding what to eat. Choose to go inside and connect with your desires. You’ll be surprised what it brings you. Michelle Keinan is a power guide, transformational mentor Becoming a wife is a beautiful evolution. How are you

and happy wife based in New York City. You can see her

navigating this internal transition for yourself? Don’t get

work and book an appointment at www.radicallyselfish.com.


Own Your Glow Words by LATHAM THOMAS Rituals amplify the magic in everyday moments. They are a series of actions performed with intention. They help to cultivate a deep sense of grounding and devotion toward oneself. Rituals can help crystallize your dreams, deepen your spiritual connection, and accelerate healing and selfdiscovery. We will explore practices that you can do alone as well as partnered. The rituals included in this book provide space for deep inquiry and integration, calling you to attune to your GPS, glow power system. To ground ourselves in the energy of Autumn we anchor ourselves in nature with the power of meditation.  BAREFOOT GROUNDING MEDITATION  This meditation requires you to go outside. Whether you are in the city or the countryside, I want you to find yourself on terra firma in a garden, city park, or backyard. Stand on solid Mother Earth, in your bare feet. Our bodies are bioelectrical in nature.  The functions of our cells and nervous system are governed by electrical power and pulses of energy. Electrons and fluids in Earth’s core generate continuous, powerful magnetic forces and complex energy fields. Earth’s energetic cycles and rhythms play important roles in our bodies’ electrical rhythms, such as regulation of our hormone production and sleep-wake cycles.

Barefoot grounding can help relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve sleep. Damp soil is more conductive and can accelerate the benefits of grounding. The benefits are cumula- tive, so make this meditation a ritual practice. Do this in the daytime when the sun has warmed up the earth. As the sunlight kisses your face, gently close your eyes. Receive a full belly breath and exhale, and ground your feet rmly into the soil. Wiggle your toes and sink your feet more deeply into the earth. Inhale the serenity of the outdoors, and exhale ten- sion. Inhale awe, and exhale stress or anxiety. Each day brings awe, wonder, and gratitude. You nurture your soul in tune with the living energy universe, cultivating a beautiful life. You honor the healthy body you live within and are grateful for the miracle of life. You experience the sacred in all things as you create your own sanctu- ary for renewal, walking through the garden gate to enter the portal of the Divine. Here you are deeply nurtured as you feel connected to all creation. How awakened are you to the dancing Universe and your own internal dance? The precious gifts of sunlight, warmth, the beauty of owers, and the vastness of the stars above envelop you in the mysterious. You celebrate the blossoms and the harvest and nd yourself pulsing within the rhythms of nature. Listen to the music of the ambient landscape, Mother Nature’s sacred sound. Receive a breath and take your arms up and overhead, and exhale with your palms together in prayer position. When you are ready, gently open your eyes.


Aging Gracefully and Other Tips for your Wellness Journey Words by BEE HOPE HAM

    Who doesn’t want to cling to the beauty of youth in some way? Coming from an industry that mostly attempts to deny the effects of aging (cosmetology) through the use of harsh treatments and cover ups, I chose a different path. I wanted to embrace the aging process with grace.      I began my journey towards a healthy lifestyle with a complete overhaul of my eating practices. I studied cultures throughout history who thrived prior to the introduction of processed foods. Specifically, people who ate foods local to their region, very often full of natural

 I’ve noticed a distinct difference in my views on aging

fats and grains prepared using long fermentations. I

since I started on a path to wellness at the age of thirty.

learned from practical counterculture giants like Weston

At the time, I didn’t fully understand what it meant to

A. Price, Sally Fallon, and Joel Salatin, and discovered

look at myself in the mirror and feel beautiful, flaws and

that for the first time in my life my body was thriving

all. I didn’t yet have a true sense of self, and I picked

and healthy at a constant weight.

myself apart and sought beauty only in my relative youth. In the years since, I’ve come to embrace myself and what

Here’s where I started when I reevaluated my eating

makes me me. Now a mother of two, my introspection

routine:

has been put aside, replaced with an understanding of the magnificence of my womanhood. An internal strength has arisen from this experience, and I now prefer to see the years show on my face as a badge of honor.

Organic Fresh, real, unprocessed, local (when possible) Pastured animal products (if you eat them) Living probiotics Water, water, water! (quality matters and so do minerals)


My skin changed for the better as well, but not as

incorporated POLLEN, our floral mist and toner with the

much as I’d hoped. Dietary changes were only part of the

nourishing powers of NECTAR, our face oil featuring an

equation. These ingredients are in the language our

amalgam of soothing and smoothing essential oils, to

bodies speak and the same goes for skincare.

create my own moisturizer on the spot.

   The next step for me was looking at my exposure to

    By leaving the oil and “water” separate, I can avoid

toxins and eliminating what I could. I reviewed my home

the use of harsh preservatives and give my skin only

cleaning products, chemicals used to treat home

what it needs. After several months of consistent use I

furnishings, and eventually, my own skincare products.

began to see real change in my skin. It was noticeable to

It was a full-fledged reality check when I began to

friends and family and they began to inquire as to what I

research the many unpronounceable ingredients in my

had changed. I spent some more time honing my

so-called “natural” products.

products, and the rest is history.

   Having set a high standard for what I put in my body, I knew that I was the only one I could trust to create my

    So, what is beauty? What is wellness? And how do

skincare products. Viewing the body as a whole, I took

they affect our perception of the aging process?

the same approach as I did with diet and applied that to skin. Organic, whole, and unrefined was the name of the

    To me, beauty springs forth from an understanding of

skincare game.

our own worth. Do you love yourself? How do you

   All of the products we offer at H use unrefined

demonstrate that on a daily basis? With what do you

organic and wild harvested oils. One of the best ways to

nourish your body each day? That’s the beginning. It’s an

see results in your skin is to cleanse with a perfectly

overt act of self-love to make choices that you know are

balanced oil cleanser like RAPHA that can be used both

good for you.

during the day and at night. By ending the vicious cycle of stripping the skin of it’s natural oils, you create a foundation on which to build. Once I understood this, I


When we communicate with our physiological selves in

that’s exactly how it feels to move away from a toxic life.

their own native tongue, nature does what she does best.

Of course everything from thoughts to food to skincare

You will discover that you are a powerful agent of

have the potential to be toxic. So take stock, make small

healing, and when given the right tools, your body will

changes and move toward a life of wellness even if in the

find balance because balance is what it’s always seeking.

tiniest of ways each day. In time, you’ll look back and

    By using ingredients in their rawest state you are

realize that age and wisdom are inseparable sisters, that

giving your skin the tools it needs to optimize itself.

they are beautiful, and that beauty and wellness are one.

   Wellness is having an understanding of these things and a willingness to put in the effort to ensure you’re treating your body with love and respect. It is at once a state of mind as well as an action, and it affects every aspect of our lives.There is the spiritual, the mental and the physical body—all aspects are touched by small decisions we make each day to care for ourselves.      These decisions to honor my body have greatly affected my view of aging. As I look in the mirror and see small lines around my eyes and even deeper lines around my mouth (I laugh a LOT), I see the bigger picture. How have I grown since those lines appeared? What have I

Bee Hope Ham is the creator of H is for Love, a skincare and

learned about myself and am I growing in my ability to

wellness line focused on the purity and sourcing of its

have grace for others as the years go on?

ingredients. Each product is made by hand, cruelty-free and

Once I tasted the freedom of living this way I knew I

almost entirely organic and wild-sourced. To learn more

could never go back. I remember a TED talk I watched

about NECTAR Nourishing Face Oil and the rest of the H

where the presenter said, “I can’t unlearn this,” and

line visit www.hforlove.com.        


Season of Surrender: The Inner Path and Where to Start this Fall Words by SEVAPREET

surrender, yoga is just exercise. Without surrender, meditation is just self control. Without surrender, fearlessness is just cockiness.      Surrender is the tether between us and Spirit.      The depth to which you surrender is the depth to which you are liberated. Surrender is hard. It requires great humility and, thus, great suffering. Suffering is a tremendous teacher. It burns this idea of control out of us. Control is only an illusion. In its fear and smallness the ego grasps at control, but the soul knows that the only constant is change. Life must keep on moving. Only

   I spent years learning the art of surrender. It was my

things that are dead stand still.

initiation and is now part of me like DNA and blood and

   If we let it, life will break us open to the core, and

bone. But it’s not an easy thing to teach. Surrender is a

then we might know some truth. Until we are broken, we

deeply personal and intuitive journey.

think we can do it on our own.

   If you are on a spiritual path you will have many

   We believe that surrender is weakness, because it

dances with surrender, and yours will never be the same

makes us feel vulnerable. We try to cover it up and

as anyone else’s. You will have to listen to your own

explain it away. We say that surrender isn’t the same as

guidance to know the way to go.

giving up, that it’s not quitting. We try to find a way to

    On the Hero's Journey, there are many things you will

surrender and keep our egos intact at the same time.

have to learn, such as: resilience, endurance, and grit. It

   But that’s exactly what surrender is: it is giving up. It

is surrender that’s at the heart of the path.

is quitting.

   Until we have surrendered some part of ourselves,

   Surrender happens when we have no choice but to

spiritual practices are little more than games. Without

give up. It happens when we know that we can no longer


do it on our own. Despite our best efforts, we can’t make

down to only what could be bought and sold as a

it work. Surrender is the only sane thing left to do. When

commodity. Do not be fooled. This path will bring great

life has you pressed so far into the ground that you can

suffering. And it will bring great joy. Through surrender

no longer pull yourself up, you might just let go. In the

we learn the beauty of both.

gap between you and what you’ve been clinging to, Grace

   Think for a minute about how hard you have tried to

moves in.

make yourself happy.

   It is through this process of letting go that the ego

   How much effort have you put into it? How much

begins to fall away.

time? How much energy? How much money have you

   It will scare you. It will feel like you are losing

paid? How many books have you read? How many classes

something, but you are not losing anything that was ever

have you gone to? How many drinks have you taken?

real in the first place. In exchange for your willingness to

How many drugs? How many relationships have you

risk yourself, you gain everything.

burned through?

    Surrender is the ultimate courageous act. It is

   Haven’t you really spent your whole life trying to

stepping into the complete unknown without a safety

make yourself happy? And has it worked? Is it possible

net. It is the first and final act of fearlessness. To trust

that you actually have no idea how to satisfy yourself?

yourself to the unknown is to give up your conditions.

   Anything you do or have or become will only bring

Spirit does not care about your perfect life. Spirit wants

fleeting relief. Happiness does not come from success.

only for you to know who and what you really are. It

Happiness does not come from a lack of suffering.

wants you to wake up.

   True happiness comes only from being fully alive; it

   It is discomfort that sharpens the blade of Truth. The

comes by throwing off the half-dead cloak of comfort

path of a warrior — make no mistake, if you are seeking

and safety. This is what brings the satisfaction you are

Awakening, you are on a warrior’s path — is not one of

looking for, and this kind of aliveness requires the

ease.

surrender of your small, known self to something

   It's a very Western thing to have narrowed spirituality

infinitely more vast.  


Surrender doesn’t mean that you stop moving, as it is

Sevapreet teaches yoga, makes jewelry, writes and has a

not a lack of action. It is not stagnant nor lazy. It is not

healing practice on the Big Island, Hawaii. She is a certified

complacent nor does it give into self pity. It is setting

CYT Yoga & KRI Kundalini Yoga instructor, reiki master,

aside your personal will to make room for something

holistic fitness specialist and more. Find more about her

extraordinary to move through you.

practice at www.mantrasandmiracles.com.

   The mind can only know what has already happened. It has nothing fresh, nothing new to give. Its greatness is only in proportion to its ability to serve the heart. Creativity, inspiration and right action are always born of Spirit. Through surrender you become a channel for Creative Consciousness itself. Through you, the Divine meets the world. This is the fullest expression of your humanity.      All of the lessons and experiences, all of beauty and pain in your life, are drawing you closer towards the essence of YOU. They are drawing you to your own wholeness. They are drawing you to your destiny. You just have to let them.

“When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.”                                                                     -Paulo Coelho


The 5 Healthy Habits That Power My Entrepreneurial Lifestyle Words by HARPER SPERO

overwhelming at times (and the same goes or traditional careers too!). Cultivating healthy habits has helped keep me on track as I go through my days, while remembering to stop, breathe, eat, and listen to my body—one day at a time.    Here are the healthy habits that I think are the most important to my lifestyle. 1.  Fueling my weeks with healthy foods.      I love cooking and experimenting in my kitchen. I’ve

   When I decided to make the leap into

traveled countless times to Tel Aviv, a city that boasts a

entrepreneurship almost three years ago, a big part of

huge variety of incredible vegetarian friendly restaurants

my decision had to do with my lifestyle. A few years

and fresh produce, and I always come home inspired to

before starting my business, I had undergone a major

create healthy and delicious meals that incorporate new

surgery, which completely changed my thinking about

ingredients and spices. Making meals at home isn’t only

my own health and well-being. I started becoming

an outlet for my creativity; it also stocks the refrigerator

serious about taking ownership of my health and

with healthy foods that I can reach for during the week.  

happiness, and becoming an

   While I don’t currently prep all my meals for the week

entrepreneur allowed me to do that even more fully.

ahead of time, it’s something I aspire to do and my love

Now, I incorporate healthy habits into my day to power

for cooking is a first step.

the lifestyle and business that I lead on my own terms,

   I also try to start my morning with breakfast, which

and I couldn’t be happier.

helps me stay focused. Most recently, I’ve been loving

   It’s no secret that owning your own business can be 

smoothies from Daily Harvest and bars from GoMacro.


When it comes to making healthy eating part of your

be swayed away from it by the idea that it’s only a

routine, my advice is to seek out flavors and foods you

practice for spiritual people. I don’t consider myself to

love and keep continuously making adjustments and

be spiritual, but I’ll be a lifelong practitioner of

tweaks until you have a handful of great recipes that you

meditation because of the very tangible and positive

look forward to eating. While I certainly don’t cook every

ways that it affects my day.

meal at home, and really enjoy a great restaurant meal or lunch date, I’ve also seen the difference that comes from

3. Pushing reset in the afternoon.

eating nutritious and simple meals that I’ve prepared

   One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is that

myself.

I have the freedom to structure my day on my own terms. I can capitalize on windows of time where I’m

2. Practicing transcendental meditation twice daily.

most productive, like the morning and late afternoon,

   I practice transcendental meditation every morning

and take a break in the middle of the day to reset my

for 20 minutes. Every afternoon, I do it again for another

mind and body. Getting away from my computer screen,

20 minutes. Daily meditation helps me stay focused and

out of my office, and into a new environment is so

productive, and when I skip it, I can tell. Focusing is hard

important for me. Sometimes, I’ll take a midday yoga

and I get less done—not to mention that I’m guaranteed

class, which helps me get out of my head, and I love

to have a bad night’s sleep, which sparks a downward

going during the slower afternoon hours when the studio

spiral for the rest of my week. Committing to practicing

isn’t packed. Some days, I’ll simply go for a walk to clear

it takes very little time, and for me, the rewards are

my head and get a change of scenery. Jonathan Fields of

exponential. It’s helped me tackle all the pressures that

the Good Life Project has talked about how he takes his

come with starting a small business, dealing with health

calls while going on long walks, and since hearing this,

scares, and taking on everything that a typical day

I’ve tried to incorporate it into my routine too. I have the

throws my way. While some people think that meditation

ability to get up and move during the day, and I take

isn’t for them, my viewpoint is: maybe it’s not, but don’t

advantage of that to reset, so when I do return to my


desk, I’m productive.

on any given day. Developing the habit of listening to my body’s signals and not automatically filtering them out

4. Creating an inviting environment.

didn’t happen overnight, and like most people, there are

   I use a diffuser with doTERRA oils in my space daily,

still days when I am too busy or rushed to pay as close

and I change out the oils depending on my mood and

attention as I should. Since becoming an entrepreneur,

how I am feeling physically and mentally. Some oils help

I’ve made the choice to listen more closely, and my

me focus, while others help me calm my mind. Because I

lifestyle allows me to be more responsive to

often work from my home, it’s especially important for

what my mind and body need daily and in the long-term.

me to customize my environment in a way that feels

Rather than working against the signals and viewing

inviting. I recently moved to a new apartment that

them as distractions, I recognize that they provide

I love, and I installed adhesive wallpaper on a wall to

valuable information for my health and happiness and

make the space feel like my own. These little changes

act accordingly.

help me take ownership of the space and feel settled in it. That’s huge for my sense of well-being. 5. Listening to what my body's needs and not ignoring its signals.

Harper Spero is a business coach and consultant based in

   In one of my previous 9 to 5 jobs, I was so reluctant to

New York City and works with individuals who want to live,

listen to what my body needed that I simply pushed

work and earn on their own terms. After spending ten years

through stress instead of managing it with the

working in traditional settings, she realized that a work-life

techniques outlined above. It was an unhealthy habit that

balance was crucial for her well-

only worsened the effects of stress over time. Now, I try

being, and she craved the autonomy and freedom that came

to stay as tuned in as I possibly can to what my body

with entrepreneurship. She launched her own business in

needs, acknowledging that these needs can be different

November 2014 and hasn't looked back.


Why The Path To Happiness Is Not Straight and Narrow

   My name is Jennifer Rose Goldman (Founder of Essential Rose Life holistic mood enhancing beauty) and I am proud to say that my path to happiness has NOT been straight and narrow. When I was just 15 years old, I was a defiant high school student. My rebellious behavior came from a place of deep-seated self-loathing and discontent. After I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression one year

Words by JENNIFER GOLDMAN

later, my parents made a drastic and unexpected decision to send me through what would become a two-year long therapeutic immersion, including a Therapeutic Wilderness Program and Boarding School.

Most of us are taught that we should live life a certain

   One moment I was home in my bed and the next

way; that there is a “right” and a “wrong” way to do

moment, without any notice or warning, I was being

things, and that age is a definitive marker of where we

escorted by two “transporters” in the dead of winter to

should be on our path towards “success.” From my

the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains at my parents’

personal experience, I believe life is more like a zig zag.

request.

We take some steps forward, many steps back, and ever

   That weekend I was supposed to be going to a Sweet 

slowly progress on our respective path. If we’re lucky

Sixteen, kiss a boy named Sal, and wear a red Balenciaga

enough to get outside of ourselves and witness our

dress with heels. I had already bought my bag of pot for

growth, we can see how, for the most part, one moment

school the next day. I would continue to live one day after

led to the next…how *THANK GOD* we got that divorce,

the next “on schedule” with society, enrolling in college

didn’t get that job, moved across the country with $500

the next year and on and on.

to our name, and many more wild (but REAL)

   Thankfully, all of that came to a screeching halt and

circumstances that led us to exactly where we are now.

my social barometer for “success” and “appropriate


growth” imploded in on itself as I went in a completely

   Jennifer Rose’s life came to a screeching halt at the

different, but necessary, direction. The wilderness led to

bittersweet age of 16 when she was diagnosed with Clinical

a boarding school, which led to a gap-year program in

Depression. Her inability to care for herself or cope with her

the south of France, then a visit to an apothecary in

emotions healthfully led her parents to act drastically, and

Morocco, which led to my first experience with an

unexpectedly.

energy healer in the West Village, which led to THIS

   Jennifer finally landed back in New York at Skidmore

MOMENT NOW. It was all so crucial to the

College, where her desire to identify and unfurl the mystery

development of my life and to the discovery of my

of ritual lead to the rigorous study of Religion and

passion: teaching and empowering women to love

Philosophy. This was no “toe-dipping” expedition on her

themselves and to witness their own healing.

end, it was an utter deep-dive into the realm of mind -body

   Not going to prom was the GREATEST thing to ever

healing, so much so that in her senior year she began

happen to me because it meant that I got to do the hard

blending, brewing, and selling homemade herbal concoctions

and real work of discovering who I really am and why I’m

to her peers, and Essential Rose Life was born.

really here. So whenever you feel like an outsider, or

   Jennifer Rose has since earned an Aromatherapist

beat yourself up for not having your life together in the

certification through the New York Institute of

way you’re “supposed to,” I invite you to CELEBRATE

Aromatherapy and become a thrice-certified 200-hour Yoga

YOURSELF. Celebrate your wonky and imperfect yet

instructor in the Hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini Yoga

beautiful life, and all that has unfolded to bring you to

traditions. Jennifer continues to expand Essential Rose

this moment. Celebrate the fact that you are not just

Life’s offerings with the sincerest intention to build a home

another cog in the wheel, and that you are on the path to

for others: a place of abundance, mindfulness and devotion. 

becoming uniquely YOU.


The Pursuit of Happy-ism Words by CAREY DAVIDSON

qualify as happy enough for her religion? Other than the fact that I’m her mom and teenagers have this magic radar that detects Mom as POS (parent over shoulder) with cosmic accuracy, would my happiness factor make me eligible?      My kids are my most profound teachers. From the moment I entered parenthood, my children began teaching me about patience and perspective,

    “I want you to know that I’m starting my own

unconditional love, empathy and selflessness. They’ve

religion.” My 15-year-old daughter stated triumphantly.

shown me that when I can set aside frustration and

Something inside was weighing on her and this

embody stillness and calm; I can see and empathize with

declaration released a measure of heaviness. It was hot

my own and other’s needs.

and humid, mid-July. We were visiting her up at camp in

   I looked at my daughter again and was grateful to her

the Poconos for Visiting Day with the requisite goodies:

for serving as my guru in this moment. With a gentle

replacement flip flops for those lost in the mud and bug

exhale, I smiled and explored my daughter’s process for

repellant for me.

Happy-ism.

   We halted our picnic lunch preparation and digested

   Could I be Happy-ish? What is happy anyway? Is it the

this new information. My daughter’s eyes shone with

absence of sadness or pain, or is it a sustained feeling of

purpose. Her desire for unity and compassion for all

euphoria? Would my levels be tested periodically? From

people inspired internal unrest and she wanted to take

one moment to the next the amount of happiness I have

action as a result. It was awesome. “I’m calling it Happy-

is impacted by the context of my changing life. So I may

ism and you have to be happy to be accepted. That’s the

be eligible now, but not necessarily in fifteen minutes

only way you can get in.”

from now.

   A religion based on happiness. Interesting. Would I 

I wondered if there had been any data collected recently


that measured the happiness levels of my fellow

learn to be happy?

Americans. I was curious whether I’d have many fellow Happy-ism colleagues. It turns out that according to the 2016 Happiness Index, the Harris Poll, American’s aren’t

  

all that happy. Only 30% reported feeling happy, with women slightly more happy than men and married

   Karen came into my studio at Tournesol Wellness the

people slightly more happy than singles. It’s also notable

first Wednesday in August for her energy session on the

that Americans were less happy in 2016 than they were in

Vibroacoustic table. Forlorn with hunched shoulders, she

2015.

sighed a wistful exhale and plopped herself down in a

   This data struck me as strange because in the past few

heap on the water table. “Carey, can’t you just fix me? I

years we’ve seen a trend toward internal growth efforts,

want to feel happy.” The right edge of my mouth curled

consciousness and awakening. People have been seeking

up ever so slightly and my eyes softened. I recognized

practices that naturally relieve the aches of emotional

that feeling of defeat. I walked a couple steps from the

and spiritual suffering. Wouldn’t the natural

table to the vibroacoustic mixing board to choose the

consequence of these efforts be reported higher levels of

individual vibrational frequencies that would bring her

happiness?

body and mind into flow and balance. We began her

   Many of us have regular yoga and meditation

treatment and I opened my heart.

practices. We eat healthy food and vision board for our

   “Fix me” is a common request in my practice and I

goals, yet on a daily basis, we struggle to find a balanced

hate to disappoint. I really, really do. Ask anyone who

state of happy. We are all authorities of “joy” when things

knows me. Unfortunately, when I go into the

are going well, yet after a string of disappointments and

Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy room and it’s just you, the

frustrating circumstances, we may ask you to talk to the

furniture and me, I tell you something you don’t want to

hand. We can’t always control our environment and

hear.

certainly can’t control context, so where do we go to

  I’m not going to fix you.


I remember once in marriage counseling my ex-

    I think it’s because deep down inside we are

husband and I asked the therapist how long it would take

hardwired to have to work for it all of the time, every

her to fix our marriage. There was an awkward, lengthy

single day with our whole selves: body, mind and spirit.

pause after our question and in that space my pulse

You can’t meditate, detox and go to yoga class then

picked up speed. Why wasn’t she answering? Were we

cheat on your boyfriend and wonder why you’re still not

not fixable?

a warrior of all things Zen.

   Our therapist shifted in her seat and uncrossed then

  In the end, I believe Happy-ish people practice

re-crossed her legs. “Well, you see, these things take

stepping out of the ring of fire and into the heart

time,” she finally answered in her matter of fact way. My

centered space of empathy for themselves and for

heart sank. I didn’t want to have to go home and sit with

others. My guru, teacher, colleague and friend, the wise

this heavy feeling anymore. Her refusal to fix us in a

Dr. Stephen Cowan, taught me that Conflict multiplied

timely manner made me question her and her practice

by Resistance equals the amount of Suffering we feel.

entirely. Our fifty minutes with her had been a waste,

Reduce your suffering, increase your Happy-ing and

and I wondered if there was any hope for us. Looking

always remember to forgive yourself for being human.

back, it never occurred to me then to be open to and

    Message me if you’d like an application to join

embrace the process of recovery. I didn’t see the value in

Happy-ism!

a method that might take some time.      Eight years later I now understand where she was coming from. When I work with people now, I impart

Carey Davidson is the founder & CEO of Tournesol

similar wisdom.You should know, however, that while I

Wellness, an integrated and holistic healing arts practice, as

won’t fix you, I will help you experience flow and balance

well as a master reiki healer.

and will serve as a guide to teach you how to grow and how to Happy.      Happy, the verb, is something you do. It is something you work at every day. Do you grow muscles by going to the gym once? No, you have to make it a regular practice to notice improvement. Growth happens over time.      As far as I can tell, 45 years into this life, the key to Happy-ing begins by soft-heartedly accepting life’s challenges, releasing the need to be right and letting go of judgments and beliefs. When we resist the challenges life’s circumstances present, we increase the amount of suffering we feel. What was it my Aunt Carol said about visitors and fish? They both smell bad after three days. Same thing goes for the internal clutter that builds up when we resist challenging circumstances.      I’d bet twenty bucks you already know all this.  You’ve probably experienced it countless times. I have, too. So, why do we still resist? Our human nature leads us to tighten when challenged, yet doing so causes us to suffer in the long run. I want to Happy, so why is the pull of inertia so strong? Even more confusing: with so many of us waking up, becoming conscious, why isn’t this awakening translating into sustainable clarity and happiness?


Postpartum Health: Healing My Mind, Body & Spirit

Christian church where sex before marriage is highly

Words by NATALIE GARAY

This was my family.

frowned upon.      At the time, I had been a member for about 3 years and had served in the choir, their children’s nursery, their coffee shop, in the church itself as a greeter, and on their drama and dance teams. I practically lived there.      This is where I met the man that would be the father of my children. I remember the day I walked into the church shortly after seeing the doctor. and confirming my pregnancy. One of the associate female pastors whom

The Pregnancy

I liked very much walked up to me and said, “What’s done is done, now let’s take care of you and these babies,

    In February of 2002, I found out I was pregnant with

ok?” News travels fast.

my twin daughters.

   I don’t remember saying anything in response. Maybe

   It took me about 3 months to finally believe it and

I nodded. I think I was still in shock. I was dazed and

make an appointment with a doctor. I was in denial

foggy and had no idea what was to come.

because I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I

   I come from a small town where high school

hadn’t been dating the guy for long, maybe only a few

pregnancy happens and single motherhood isn’t

months, and we weren’t married. Nowhere close to being

uncommon. Or maybe it’s more noticeable when you’re

married.

in a small town, but it was never something I thought

   Why did that matter? People have kids together all the

would happen to me.

time without getting married, right? Well, not when

   The summer of 2002, the summer before the twins

you’re a member a non-denominational charismatic

were born, was hot and hard. I was in a relationship and


expecting two babies with a man I didn’t even know. My

   Just like that, I had a new home with half of my stuff

future as a dancer was fading and everyone around me

still stashed in one friend’s garage and more of it

always had a look of fear and sadness when they saw me

scattered about another friend’s apartment. For the next

or maybe it was pity. Probably both. I was 26.

2 months, I lived in a hospital where the staff worked

   The relationship was rocky at best. I was living with 2

hard to keep my babies in my belly until they were ripe

female roommates who needed to think about filling my

enough to come out. Friends and family would visit and

room once the babies arrived. Did I mention I was having

bring in outside food, play games with me and just sit

twins? The new roommate came sooner than the babies

and chat. One friend would come and read the Bible to

so I slept on the couch for a bit before a friend opened

me at times. They even arranged to host my baby shower

up her home to me.

in the hospital doctor’s lounge, since I wasn’t going

   In September of 2002, I was sharing a bed with a

anywhere. The father? We spent more time on the phone

girlfriend, storing my things in another friend’s garage,

arguing than anything according to my hospital reports.

taking dance classes when I could, and trying to work at

   Eventually, on November 11, 2002, my sweet girls

a children’s clothing store as much as possible.

made their appearance via an emergency cesarean

   Later that month, I was sent to a high-risk hospital

section arriving at 5 lbs. 9oz and 3 lbs. 11oz. They were

for a routine ultrasound. As the doctor was examining

tiny but mighty.

my belly she asked, “Can you feel that?” “Feel what?” I

   Nia, “Twin A” came home with me four days after

asked. This is my first rodeo, lady. What am I supposed

arrival. Kaia, tiny “Twin B” stayed in the hospital until

to be feeling?

the day before Thanksgiving. I went back to the hospital

   “You’re contracting, you can’t feel that?” “No, I’m not

daily to hold her and nurse her, again staying close by at

feeling anything.” She then proceeds to tell me that

yet another friend’s home. Ten days after her arrival,

they’re going to have to admit me because if I keep

Kaia was released after gaining enough weight, and I

contracting like this, these babies are going to come

packed up the car and headed north to my parents’ home

early. My due date was December 18th 2002.

where we stayed through the holidays.


Life with twins

in to help with babysitting.      I worked occasionally as a booth attendant for various

   From November 2002 until June 2003, my girls and I

trade shows, which included some travel. When I was

were basically homeless. We bounced between my

home, I attempted a few dance classes but it wasn’t

parents’ home in the Central Valley and two friends’

looking like dance (or trade show hosting) would be the

homes in Los Angeles. It was unsettling and humiliating,

best career for me with the two little ones. Or three.

and even though I was around friends, family and my

   In September of 2003, I found out I was expecting.

babies, it was lonely.

Again. Same dad. Same church. Same everything. (I

   The father? He was in Los Angeles working or

know! I’m shaking my head too as I write this!) However,

something.

shortly after finding out I was pregnant, I also found out

   I wasn’t working; I was being a mom. It was hard. It

he was seeing other people. He told me after dance class

was new. And it was not ideal. I pictured myself being a

and I ended it right there. He got kicked out of the

little more stable before I had children. I pictured being

church.

in a home; I pictured an adoring, caring husband setting

   It was April of 2004 when my girlfriend, a pilates

up a nursery with me. I had no idea what I was doing.

instructor, purchased a Pilates studio and she hired me

   I was constantly sleep deprived. When one baby finally

as her front desk gal. Big bellied, I sat at the desk and

fell asleep, the other would wake up and want to eat. I

welcomed women attending their pilates sessions. The

was trying to feed two babies, but I wasn’t producing

more I watched, the more I loved what they were doing

enough milk to feed both. I breastfed for all of three

and wanted to try it myself. I ended up liking it so much I

months, which made me feel like I had failed them. I felt

decided to get certified.

utterly tired.

   There I was, about to pop and trying to use my core

   Exhaustion is no joke. One morning, my mom walked

muscles while learning how to teach the core-focused

into my room to comfort a screaming baby, wondering

method of pilates. Needless to say, I didn’t quite “feel”

why I hadn’t attended to her yet. As she entered the

the work.

room, she saw the crying baby in the co-sleeper next to

   One week after the course began, Ava made her debut.

my bed where I slept completely unbothered by her

Since I delivered my twins via cesarean section, her

crying. Where was the second baby? She couldn’t find

entrance into the world was already decided. Finding a

her. Unable to wake me, she finally pulled my blanket

doctor or hospital that will allow a vaginal birth after a

back to see my nightshirt up and baby #2 in a deep sleep

cesarean section isn’t always easy. In fact, I just read this

after a night nursing session. Motherhood.

morning that there is an upcoming demonstration

   I was the first to have kids in my group of friends.

planned protesting a local hospital’s denial of women

Years later, when they were raising their own babies

being able to choose their birth method.

turned toddlers, many would ask me, “How’d you do it?”

   Which reminds me, along with starting my new career

“What did you do when they started to crawl, walk, eat?”

training, I also changed my obstetrician two weeks

Or whatever they thought I would remember from the

before my due date because when I mentioned the idea

sleepless early years. My response? “I have no idea. I

of a vaginal delivery, my doctor tried to talk me out of it

can’t remember any of it. It’s all a foggy blur.”

by sharing every horror story he knew about what could

   That foggy blur lasted about 10 years. 

go wrong.    I continued to work and brought Ava with me. The

It takes a village

female clients loved seeing her sitting quietly in her car seat at the side of my desk. In between greeting and

   About six months after their arrival, the girls and I

checking clients in, I would take nursing breaks in the

eventually settled into an apartment in Los Angeles.

loft of the studio.

Thank goddess for family and “aunties.” I cannot count

the number of times a friend or family member stepped


The healing process – 10 years later

rediscovered my joy, increased my energy, lost weight, toned my bod and felt like a freaking bad ass. This one

   Remember when I mentioned that the ‘foggy blur’

step, this one decision changed the course of our lives. It

lasted ten years? I wasn’t joking. I’m sure many moms

fueled my creativity and was the catalyst of many shifts.

would raise their hand if asked if they still feel depleted

   About a year later, in 2012, we moved north to the

years after their children are born. In fact, it wasn’t long

Central Coast to live beachside. I started my own

ago that I read an article about ‘Postpartum Depletion’

business and the magic continues to happen to this day. I

yes, even ten years later. It’s a thing.

am amazed at the life that I now live, the people who

   There are so many things that change in a woman’s

come into my life, and the work that I get to do.

body before, during, and after pregnancy. That’s not even taking into account what could have gone on before

The lessons

pregnancy. Infertility often means a regimen of hormone treatments, stress and fertility procedures for the body.

    Over the course of my pilates career and as a Flower

This isn’t a topic I’m well versed in, but I have watched

Essence Therapist (and creator of a Flower Essence

girlfriends go through it. It’s not easy to watch so I can

Remedy line) I’ve met so many women who weren’t

only imagine what it’s like to experience it.

initially given the support they needed to fully recover

   Our bodies are like sponges. Everything from our

from pregnancy and birth. I was fortunate enough to

thoughts, traumatic birth experiences, falls and surgery

learn about pilates when I did. It helped me recover

we’ve experienced is stored within our cells and our

from a two month stint of bed rest, two cesarean section

energetic body. These things can manifest in our body as

surgeries, as well as helped me find some sanity in the

sadness, disease, as a lack of motivation, depression and

chaos.

loneliness. I can’t say I experienced disease or

    As mothers, we need to be able to feel whole, calm

depression per se; I would call it post-baby blues and a

and connected. We deserve to be supported; mothering

lack of motivation and loneliness which of course often

isn’t easy and we certainly shouldn’t be expected to do it

leads to sadness. I wasn’t happy, but I don’t think it

while we aren’t feeling like ourselves.

showed. I worked; I took care of my girls and hung out

   Through pilates, Flower Essence Therapy,

with friends when I could. Yet, I definitely didn’t feel

mindfulness practices and with the help of my

whole.

community, I have found my way. Every experience has

   There’s magic in movement. I was tired of being tired

taught me so much, and now it’s my turn to pass on what

and unmotivated. I spent my days teaching pilates, then I

I’ve learned.

would leave, pick up the girls, and make dinner. Mom stuff. I didn’t have the energy or motivation to do much else, and I was ready for a change. I needed a change. I didn’t know what to do or where to start except to do the one thing I tell everyone else to do. Move your body.    I taught pilates daily but I wasn’t practicing regularly myself. The day I made the decision to put an end to this blah feeling and sign up for pilates classes at a nearby studio changed everything. It wasn’t the studio I taught for, but it was close to home and their schedule worked

Natalie Garay is a certified pilates instructor, flower essence

with mine. Three days a week, after I dropped the girls

therapist, speaker and founder of {ther•happy}, a flower

off at school, I made my way to the class and worked out

essence remedy line. Book a session and read more of her

like my life depended on it, because it did, and so did the

writing on www.nataliegaray.com and find the

life of my three daughters.

latest {ther•happy} essences at

   It didn’t take long for the magic to happen. I

www.youneedtherhappy.com.


An Herbal Moontime Infusion

guardian of our own feminine energy.

The secret ingredient to this celestial tea recipe is in stars themselves

Although seemingly unquantifiable, it unquestionably

Words by LINDSAY KLUGE

it bask in the ever generous abundance of moonlight . . .

   All women have the unique capability and privilege to

present lunar companion.

be deeply connected to the moon cycle, and thus, deeply

   This herbal moontime lunar infusion is filled with

connected with the ebb and flow of the tidal earth. We

botanicals that nourish and re-invigorate feminine

are generationally tethered to the push and pull of the

energy. Raspberry leaf is a mild blood cleanser (used in

moon, and when given the sacred opportunity, physically

many folk traditions) and offers a cooling and soothing

align ourselves to the moon cycle and have done so for

quality. Nettle leaf is packed with building nutrients and

generations and generations . . . cultures upon cultures.

minerals, offering a slightly salty and earthy flavor.

   This cyclic lunar connection (or "moontime") allows

Chamomile flower offers a subtle release of tensions as

women time to shed old energy that has built up over a

an antispasmodic and mild nervine, allowing the deep

lunar cycle and begin anew, cultivating new energy and

sigh we all long for after a month of exerting energy

life force, and to reconnect with the earth that nourishes

towards others. Dandelion leaf, a kidney building and

us. Although many women today have settled into a

nutritive herb in itself, supports the body as a gentle

disconnect from this lunar relationship, there are still

diuretic and encourages the release of built up fluids

ample opportunities to subtly realign with the lunar  

(water retention) while still preserving the essential

   Moonlight is a secret (yet eagerly abundant) ingredient in any women's tea I create. The infusion of moonlight into an overnight infusion is sheer magic. resonates with our longing for that re-connection. On your next full moon, place your herbal tea outside and let Sip consciously the next morning, slow enough to taste that offering and acquaint yourself with your ever


nutrients otherwise excreted by the kidneys. Horsetail— an ancient herb often found growing by the banks of a river—helps support bone health with its high content of silicon and is a uterine supportive tonic herb.      Together, these herbal allies create a strengthening, building, nutritive and replenishing formula every women can benefit from during any time of the month, and most especially soon after their moontime. Just add

Herbal Moontime Lunar Tea Infusion 1 part raspberry leaf 1 part nettle leaf 1 part chamomile flower 1 part dandelion leaf 1 part horsetail

moonlight.

Lindsay Kluge is a practices herbal medicine & nutrition and is based in Richmond, VA. She is the force behind Ginger Tonic Botanicals: a website, shop and blog that shares holistic practices and tips. Explore www.gingertonicbotanicals.com to learn more.

Place all herbs in a large glass jar and cover with fresh, filtered water. Cover loosely with a lid and let sit unobstructed overnight under the moonlight. In the morning, strain and sip consciously.


Fall Forecast & Horoscopes

and Ketu is moving into the sign of Capricorn. This is significant since they only change signs every 18 months.      Rahu and Ketu are not “real” planets, they are what the ancients called shadow planets. They are the two points where the moon’s path intersects the ecliptic and, therefore, where solar and lunar eclipses occur. They are

Words by TRACY ATKINSON

considered quite powerful in Vedic astrology, as they are capable of temporarily obscuring the light of the sun and the moon. To better understand Rahu and Ketu, there is a myth from the Vedic traditions that helps to explain their role and what type of energy they carry.

   This fall there is a tremendous amount of flux in the astrological world that is likely to bring change to your

   The Myth of Rahu and Ketu

personal life and to the world in general. For one, Rahu

   There is a myth associated with Rahu and Ketu that

and Ketu, the mysterious north and south nodes of the

sheds light on how they function. In the myth, Lord

moon, are changing signs on September 10, 2017, in the

Vishnu presides over a gathering of both gods and

sidereal zodiac. Then two days later Jupiter, the planet of

demons during which the oceans are churned, and as the

wisdom and grace, shifts into Libra, the sign of

result of the churning, Amrit (nectar) is produced. The

diplomacy and relationships. Finally, on October 26, 2017,

Amrit has the power to give immortality, and Lord

Saturn, the planet of commitment and perseverance,

Vishnu takes pains to ensure that only gods, or devas, are

moves into Sagittarius the sign of truth, knowledge and

given this nectar. However, as the story goes, a serpent

freedom. What does all this mean? Let’s break it down.

demon named Swarbhanu manages to outsmart Lord

   As mentioned above, Rahu and Ketu are the first

Vishnu by disguising himself, infiltrating the ranks of the

planets to move. Rahu is moving into the sign of Cancer

devas, and drinking the Amrit for himself. At that  


moment, however, Swarbhanu’s identity is detected by

spiritual. Ketu has no head so he cannot see. Therefore

the Sun and Moon, who alert Lord Vishnu and ask that he

he represents transcendence of the mind and senses and

kill Swarbhanu. However, just as Lord Vishnu cuts the

signifies intuition and instinct. He is a planet of

head off Swarbhanu, Swarbhanu drinks the Amrit

detachment. The house that he resides in natally is an

immortalizing him into two halves, the head, known as

area of life we feel simultaneously compelled to let go

Rahu and the body, known as Ketu.

and a deep familiarity that makes us return to it again

   Traditionally, as the head with no body, Rahu is

and again.

considered insatiable; the apex of intense material

   When Ketu transits a house, this is the area of your

desire. He can be clever, manipulative and shallow and

life where you may be doing some letting go. For

yet he can be groundbreaking as well as forward looking.

example, if Ketu is transiting your 4th house, you aren’t

Thus, where you have Rahu in your horoscope natally,

so interested in home and family right now. Rahu is up in

you may feel intense desire and pour enormous amounts

your 10th house pulling your energies toward career and

of energy.

worldly matters. The home and hearth will have to wait.

   When Rahu transits a house in your chart there is

.

increased desire to make changes in the area of life

   Rahu in Cancer

represented by that house. For example, if Rahu is

   Rahu’s move into the sign of Cancer puts the focus on

transiting your 7th house of relationships, your

emotional well being, stability, home, family and

relationship is likely to go through a radical

attachments. As a collective, we may question what it

transformation. if you are not in a relationship you may

means to be emotionally and physically secure. What is

get into one with a person who is a foreigner or very

the true meaning of home and who is our family really.

different from you in some way. Rahu is a great planet

Rahu’s eccentric and revolutionary nature may

for pushing through stagnation. He will rock your world,

transform what one or all of these areas look like in our

but in the end you will be very glad he did.

life.

   Ketu on the other hand is considered to be deep and

  Cancer is a water sign that has no boundaries and is  

  


able to intuit the feelings of others. It is a highly

outward security, ambition and practicality. The next 18

compassionate and nurturing sign capable of deep

months is a time of vacillating between emotional and

feeling. At its highest, Cancer represents the healer who

physical security, attachment vs. detachment and home

loves others unconditionally and cares for all. On a

vs. career. Finding the balance here is critical for

spiritual level, Cancer looks for peace. At first, Cancer

stability, for if we put too much energy toward career,

looks for peace and security outside herself through

we eventually find we are alone and have no family.

emotional and material security. As she evolves, she

Conversely, if we put all our energy into home and

begins to realize that true security resides within and

family, we have no career and therefore miss out on

begins to look inward. Rahu’s transit of Cancer over the

feeling a strong sense of accomplishment and purpose.

next 18 months offers an exceptional opportunity to make great strides, and even breakthroughs, in the

   Jupiter in Libra

sphere of emotional attachments and what brings us true

   In the midst of Rahu changing signs, Jupiter is also

security. This is especially true if you have your sun,

changing signs. As mentioned above, on September 12th,

moon or ascendent (rising sign) in the sign of Cancer.

Jupiter moves into Libra, highlighting balance and harmony. In Vedic astrology, the astrology of India,

   Ketu in Capricorn

Jupiter is considered a beneficent planet and capable of

   Since Ketu is always opposite Rahu, he will be in

bestowing wealth, knowledge and a strong sense of

Capricorn, the sign of ambition, hard work and

purpose. Jupiter is the guru (teacher) to the gods;

actualization. Since Capricorn is conservative and

therefore, when Jupiter graces us with his energy a

practical, it represents the status quo. With Ketu

teacher or advisor may enter into our lives who has the

transiting here, there will likely be big shifts in the

ability to remove darkness and help us get back on the

structure of corporations and government entities.With

path that leads toward the light.

Rahu’s energy pulling your energy toward emotional

   Now that Jupiter is moving into Libra, we can expect

security and attachments, there is less of a focus on

an overall improvement in business relations, diplomacy  


and personal relationships. Equality, compromise and

authenticity, limitations, old age and responsibility. He is

togetherness become the themes over the next year,

the planet of obstacles, delays and letting go. He is a

helping us to create connections, establish partnerships

planet of separation, yet he is also the planet of deep

and exercise the art of compromise.

commitment and dedication.    Although Saturn brings change, there is nothing to

   Saturn in Sagittarius

fear from Saturn, as he is our greatest teacher. Although

   When Saturn changes signs, it is big astrological news,

Saturn brings hard lessons, he also gives us the ability to

as he only changes signs every two and half years. He is

be strong and create things that endure. At his best,

the slowest moving planet other than the outer planets,

Saturn can bring enormous greatness through discipline,

and when he moves big shifts happen that can alter the

ambition, hard work, tenacity and perseverance. A

course of one’s life. In the pantheon of planetary deities,

mature Saturn is like a yogi in meditation giving us the

Saturn is known as the planet of reality and deep change;

ability to feel peaceful in solitude, possess unwavering

therefore, the house that he is transiting at any given

spiritual discipline, be detached, develop equanimity and

time undergoes a huge restructuring. When Saturn first

accept the very real limitations of life.

moves into a house, whatever isn’t going to stand the test of time dissolves, so that we can rebuild what will sustain

   The Sign of Sagittarius

us into the next phase of our life. This is a very creative

   Sagittarius is an outgoing fire sign that seeks ways of

process, and it can be very exciting and liberating if we

expanding consciousness. This can happen through the

let go of resistance and surrender to what is happening.

acquiring of knowledge, through foreign travel as well as spiritual and religious belief and experiences. At its core,

   Saturn

Sagittarius is about the quest for truth, freedom, justice

   In understanding Saturn’s transits, it best to first

and integrity. It is a sign that is righteous, virtuous and

understand how the energy of Saturn functions in our

adheres to a strict moral and ethical code. Herein lies the

lives. We tend to fear Saturn as he represents

shadow side of Sagittarius, where it can produce a self-


righteousness, intolerance and rigid adherence to rules.

arise. You may also feel dissatisfied with your career and

It can create dogmatic and zealous philosophies that lead

want to make a change there.

to wars over religion and belief.

     Taurus (April 20 - May 19)

   Saturn in Sagittarius

   Rahu is in your 3rd house. Learning and travel are the

   Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius challenges us to

focus. You may feel super busy and find yourself

dig down deep and ask ourselves what we believe in,

overbooking your time like making many short journeys

what our philosophies are and what is worth fighting for.

or reading 5 books at once. You may also find yourself

We may find ourselves unable to tolerate injustice and

signing up for several classes, one of which may be a

immorality like never before. This is a time for making

writing class. This also brings changes to relationships

clear choices and decisions, for weeding out what isn’t

with siblings and father.

working for us, and for letting go of lost causes. There may be times where we feel limited in our freedoms and

   Gemini (May 20 - June 20)

expansion. We may question what it means to be free.

   Rahu is on your 2nd house. Your bank account is likely

During this time our beliefs will be redefined,

to expand this year as your income increases. You may

restructured and put to the test. It is a good time to look

also find yourself accumulating more clothes, jewelry,

to the wisdom of teachers, sages and to study the past to

etc., as well as taking more of an interest in cooking and

redefine our philosophy, our sense of purpose and very

food. Just be careful not to over do it with food and drink

reason for being.

as Rahu has a big appetite. Since this is the house of family, there is a big focus there and turmoil is possible. Be mindful of your speech patterns as Rahu may compel

   Look below to find out what area of life Rahu and

you to say things you later regret.

Ketu are revolutionizing for you. If you know your rising sign you can read that sign as well.

   Cancer (June 21 - July 22)       Rahu is in your 1st house. The focus is on you and your own transformation. You may completely change

   Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

the way you look or get in touch with your true self. The

   Rahu is in your 5th house. This is a year where you

focus is on creative self-expression and leadership. If

may experience an abundance of creativity either

you are in a position of leadership or would like to be,

through the arts or in the form of a child. Your mind is

this is your time to step up and awaken that part of you.

extremely active and may at times feel like it is working

To own it. However Rahu wants power, so be mindful of

over time. It would be wise to put this toward learning

using your power to serve others and not the ego. This is

something new. You also just want to have fun and may

an easy trap to fall into with this transit. In any case, this

seek out romance and entertainment, such as sport,

is your time to shine and expand.

games and the theater. In general, you are more focused on your creative self-expression and less interested in

   Leo (July 23 - August 22)

group dynamics.

   Rahu is in your 12th house. Long distance journeys are likely, as are journeys into the spiritual realms. Escaping

   Aries (March 21 - April 19)

mundane reality and connecting to the divine is a big

   Rahu is in your 4th house. The focus is on home, cars

theme now. You are less interested in daily routines and

and large fixed assets. Stability is the keyword for you,

work. You may have a strong desire to create a sanctuary

and you may be looking to put down roots to bring a

where you can retreat to.

feeling of peace. This could manifest as a new home or renovating your house. Your mother may come into your

   Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

life more or issues of mothering and nurturing may

   Rahu is in your 11th house. This is a time of big gains, 


awards and recognition. You are more ambitious than

formally or informally. In any case, education, travel and

usual and are likely to spend more time networking.

philosophy bring you great joy and expansion now. In

Your social circle expands as your desire to be part of a

addition, this a good time for writing, advertising and

community grows. There is the potential for an increase

promotion.

in income from career.

     Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

   Libra (September 23 - October 22) 

   Rahu is in your 8th house. Expect to see a shift in your

   Rahu is in your 10th house. Expect to see a shift in

values. You may experience a shift from the material to

your status and career. This is an excellent time for

the spiritual as you surrender desires and let go of the

recognition or a promotion if you have been working

idea that anything external will bring you happiness.

towards an advancement in your career. The recognition

This is a great time to do research and learn about the

you receive will leave you feeling confident and

hidden realms, whether it be astrology, psychology,

optimistic and give you a strong sense of purpose in

physics, astronomy or healing. You may even meet an

worldly affairs. This is a time when practical matters,

important teacher at this time. You may also see an

finances and relationships with parents seem to flow and

expansion of your unearned income via inheritance,

bring happiness, so enjoy Jupiter's blessings throughout

insurance or the lottery. This is also a good time to

the year.

succeed in obtaining loans or grants.

   Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

   Capricorn (December 22 - January 19) 

   Rahu is in your 9th house. Expect to see a shift in your

   Rahu is in your 7th house. Expect to see a shift in

philosophy and teachings. This could manifest in taking a

relationships and how you relate to others. If you are

new class, getting a certification, going on a trip or going

single, a relationship may manifest now, and if you are in

back to school. It is also possible that you may find

a relationship it is likely to improve and expand in

yourself taking on the role of teacher yourself either

unusual ways. People from foreign countries and


different philosophical backgrounds may enter your world. You may even get married now. It is a time for developing new skills and expanding your social circle. If you have your own business, this is a time of exponential growth in your business as well. You could also be doing business with more foreigners.    Aquarius  (January 20 - February 18)      Rahu is in your 6th house. Expect to see a shift in work life, health and daily routines. Your work environment will be pleasant as problems with others seem to smooth out now and there is a general flow to your schedule. You may be inspired to change and strengthen your health through a new diet or fitness routine. Keep your expectations simple and goals reachable. Heed the call to donate your time to your favorite charity as this is a wonderful time to work on behalf of others who are in need. Long distance travels and spiritual progress are in the forecast now, so go ahead and plan your external or internal journey this season.


How To Successfully Pull Off A Digital Detox (And Actually Get More Connected To The World) Words by CARA THOMAS      In a world of email overload and social media sharing, it can feel impossible to pull yourself away. While connecting with others online has never been easier, experiencing deep bonds offline can be difficult to do when every other person you meet appears to be glued to their phone, tablet or computer. Craving a deeper connection or more meaning in your life? Taking a digital detox is a great place to start. Here are five easy steps to ensure that your first attempt is a smashing success. 1. Set guidelines. To pull of your digital detox, first be realistic with yourself and outline exactly what you home to achieve. Are you looking to step away from all digital communication or just social media? Can you adjust your habits and still be fully functional at your job? Will you detox during a trip or 

vacation, or make adjustments to your regular routine? Once you’ve decided what you’d like to (and can feasibly) do, set guidelines to keep yourself in check. This could be something like temporarily deleting your Facebook account, setting your email to pull only, or checking messages at certain times each day. 2. Focus on being present. The entire point of a digital detox is to de-stress, find a sense of peace, and reconnect yourself to the world around you, right? Once you’ve set guidelines for your digital detox, dig into re-discovering life IRL and all of the great things nearby. Need some inspiration? Try a game like Serenflipity, the deck of cards that unlocks adventure. All you need to do to play is flip a card each morning and make whatever it reads your mini-assignment for the day — like talking to a stranger or buying two of something and giving one away. “The first card I got was a challenge to buy coffee for a stranger, and I immediately felt the positive vibes from connecting with someone I haven't talked to,” Angelina, a Serenflipity fan from New York City says. “It was like a pep in my step; I felt good for ‘paying it forward’ and she felt good too!” Branching out might feel like a big change from hunkering down to scroll through your phone, but it’ll definitely help you feel more connected.


3. Ask for help.

5. Reflect.

Pulling off a successful digital detox is tough, but it’s even

Once you’ve completed your digital detox, find time to

more difficult to do when you’re surrounded by friends

reflect on the experience. Which parts of it were painful?

who practically live inside their inbox or constantly check

Which parts made a difference? Do you feel as you thought

social sites. Instead of feeling a major itch to join them, ask

you would? If not, why? Once you reassess, you’ll be able to

your friends for support.

clearly see how you can continue to set healthy boundaries and connect in the future. You might find that you really do

Serenflipity fan Ricky recounts the time he and his brother

need to be more active on email, but are fully satisfied

put their phones away at dinner. Focused on completing

logging into Facebook a few times a week. Take what

the challenge listed on the card they had flipped that day,

works, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier,

‘Ask the chef to pick your meal at a restaurant’, they made

happier, and more meaningfully connected life.

great friends with the waiter — and good memories trying a fish they wouldn’t have normally ordered! “The world needs more engagement,” Ricky says. “At the end of the day, that’s what everyone wants.” Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to ask your pals to join you; they might be craving the same sense of connection. SERENFLIPITY is rooted in behavioral science — and in 4. Switch it up.

real experience. Our founder, Cara Thomas, built this deck

Has your routine contributed to your need to digitally

to help her get unstuck after a breakup and re-inspired at

detox? Maybe you weren’t feeling challenged or had too

work.

much free time on your hands; maybe you were overworked and using your digital device to try and keep

Cara spent over 10 years inventing award-winning

up. Either way, try doing things differently than you’ve

products for Fortune 100 companies with What If

done before. Use your newfound free time (and mental

Innovation. She found that adventure and playfulness led

energy) to try new activities, exercise, or create.

to breakthroughs with her clients.


FOOD BY MARS

recipes Fresh herbs instantly spruce up your dish with their fresh green color and distinct smell.

This seasonal recipe is so versatile that it can be eaten as a sweet or savory snack.


Creamy squash, pear & ginger soup INGREDIENTS 1 medium butternut squash, chopped into cubes 1 large yellow onion, cut into 4 wedges 4 cloves garlic, whole and peeled 1 or 2 pears (bartlett or bosch work), sliced into 4 wedges and cored 3 Tbsp olive oil 3 1/2 cups water 1 tsp turmeric powder 2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp ginger juice (or 2 Tbsp grated ginger) sea salt and black pepper to taste fresh herbs, seeds, etc. for garnish (I’m using fresh thyme and sesame seeds)

DIRECTIONS 1. Pre-heat oven to 400f degrees while you chop all the veggies and fruit. 2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and toss the squash, onions, pears, and garlic with olive oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper allover and roast everything in the oven for approx. 30-35 minutes. 3. Add water to a soup pot with roasted vegetables and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. 4. Turn off the heat, add in the ginger or ginger juice, more salt and pepper to taste and turmeric — and stir. Now add everything to a blender or use an emulsion blender.


Autumn Kale Salad INGREDIENTS 1 bunch lacinto kale 1 medium acorn squash 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp virgin coconut oil, liquid 1/2 lemon, juiced 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds 1/4 cup pepitas (or nuts) sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS 1. First, prep the acorn squash. Pre-heat the oven to 350f degrees while you chop the squash into semi circles, all in the same thickness (I make them on the thinner side so they’ll cook quicker). 2. Toss the squash pieces with coconut oil and top with a pinch of sea salt on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for approx. 30 minutes (flipping once half-way through) until cooked. While that’s roasting, strip the kale leaves off their stems and toss the stems out.

3. Roll the leaves into a long roll and with a chef’s knife, slice the kale into ribbons (the smaller the better). Add all kale ribbons to a salad spinner or mesh strainer and rinse well – dry in the spinner or with a towel and let rest in a large bowl. 4. Now wash your hands and get ready to massage! Add the olive oil to your kale and start massaging, you’ll see before long about half the volume of your kale reduces. Do this for 3-5 minutes until all leaves are well coated and are much softer. Now wash your green hands again. 5. When squash is done, remove from the oven and let rest/dry. To a pan or cast iron, add pepitas (no oil needed) over medium heat and toast them on the stove top for just a few minutes. As soon as they start getting a little gold and you can smell them, shut the heat off – you’re all set! 6. Now add the lemon juice to your kale and toss a bit. Then add in the rest of your mix-ins: squash, pepitas and pomegranate seeds – give it a good toss. 7. Grab your serving bowl and add everything in there – serve or store in the fridge until you’re ready (let it rest at room temp. for 30 minutes if you store it in the fridge, the squash tastes better at room temp. in my opinion).


Pumpkin Spice Turmeric Latte INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup almond milk 3 Tbsp pumpkin puree 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp melted coconut oil 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger or ground ginger 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp ground clove 1/8 tsp ground cardamom pinch of black pepper (to activate the turmeric) optional sweeteners like honey or coconut nectar 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk for topping

DIRECTIONS 1. In a small saucepan, add all ingredients (except coconut milk) and whisk over low heat. 2. Mix it for approx. 5 minutes or so until well heated and somewhat combined (the puree should be dissolved, the spices will probably still be allover the place). 3. Add mixture to a blender and blend on high until you have a thicker orange milk with spices combined well. 4. Pour into your mug(s) and separately, steam coconut milk in a frothier or you can rinse your blender and use that on high until you have a nice foam. 5. Pour coconut milk on top of your pumpkin spice turmeric milk and add a little more cinnamon over top and serve!


The Wellness Mercantile Fall 2017