We asked women who inspire us to share their thoughts on life, love and beauty. Here are their responses.
What is success to you?
Success is meeting an objective. Earlier in my life my objectives were to graduate from college and become a teacher, and I found success meeting those objectives. It was difficult transitioning to full-time motherhood, but I simply re-established my objectives. Some days my objective is to immerse my daughter in nature and culture and conversation, and other days it’s just to make sure we’re both wearing pants before noon. Either way, meeting our objectives is a successful day. I have found this mindset to be both comforting and helpful in many areas of my life, from motherhood to my marriage to my work as a MovNat trainer. When we establish clear objectives with the partners in our lives, we are working together to make each other successful.
What is magic for you?
When I experience an alignment that is outside the scope and reach of human construction: that is magic. Some might call this an answer to a prayer, a coincidence, an irony, or a sign. Magic is life experiences that—like a cryptex—release their secrets only to a precise arrangement of truths and events.
What is love for you?
We are cells and energy, and love is the highest energy. The same way that water is fluid or frozen based on its molecular energy, so we operate either with the rigidity of apathy, or with the moving, outpouring, and progressive energy of love.
What is your beauty/health practice?
Feeding my family with love has ignited my passion for cooking and nourishing our bodies. I am making progress on my journey toward greater amounts of wild foraged edibles and making my own fermented foods to promote healthy gut flora. I also enjoy local farmers market ingredients. Nutrition is the base of my beauty routine. In addition to that, choosing products that are non-toxic and also welcoming to my body’s micro biome is important to me. Years ago my beauty practice was to harshly strip away all oils and odors and to cover up every blemish. In contrast, my beauty routine now is a daily ritual that finds a truly peaceful and self-honoring balance point. I want to be clean while honoring that my body is alive with rich cellular activity. I want to smell incredible while also recognizing that my body’s pheromones are the most intoxicating scent on the planet. I want to enhance my natural beauty without hiding behind a mask. I’m also a mother to a toddler so I have basically no time to figure out how contouring works anyway.
What makes your spirit glow?
While I have a full appreciation for who I am as a whole person, the motherhood faced of my life makes my spirit glow. I feel that answering my calling to motherhood ushered me into the fullest version of myself. How do you stay centered in the middle of chaos? I love physical training. I have completed half and full marathons, I lift weights, I enjoy yoga, and I train in MovNat. Each of these requires strength and stamina, but also awareness and mindfulness. In physical training I interpret my body’s physical messages, my energy and ability levels, and the most efficient way to yield the results I want. It’s much the same with chaos. I assess how much stress I’m under, how much energy I have to offer to the situation, and how to most efficiently expend that energy toward a resolution. I’m also getting much better at caring for myself during chaos, which is essential for this plan to work in the first place.
What causes/organizations are you passionate about?
I’m very passionate about the ReWilding lifestyle. My brother, Daniel Vitalis, has been incredibly influential for me in personalizing my lifestyle to reflect the naturally robust and fulfilling lives of our primal ancestors. This includes everything from foraging for wild foods, exploring natural movement, and birthing my children at home, to simply switching to amber lightbulbs after dark and spending time in meditation. Check out the ReWild Yourself podcast on iTunes. If you could say one thing to the world what would you say? We are all here on a temporary physical field trip. The entity inside yourself that is the conscious observer of your thoughts is YOU. Let that truth govern as it may and let it also pardon others. You are master to no one, and you should revel in that same freedom.
What has been the greatest lesson as a mother you’ve learned?
We are sovereign. My child is not my property, nor are we our parents’ property. We are sovereign beings navigating the world together. Every time I find myself unsure of how to handle a situation with my daughter (which is every day), I remind myself that she is sovereign. She is her own person dwelling in her own tiny body. “How can I allow her options to make her own choices? Am I making a request based on her wellbeing or based on my own convenience? Am I giving her the same respect and responsibility I would give to another adult?” These are the questions that are constantly ruminating in my mind. This has been the single greatest lesson in my life thus far, and it was motherhood that brought it into the light. I have found myself asking these same questions and using this same perspective in my marriage, in my professional relationships, in my response to politics or to offenses against me. Realizing that human beings are sovereign unto themselves not only requires us to relinquish our perceived control over them, but releases us from the burden of it.
What advice would you give to a new mother?
Mother, you have within you an innate and perfectly-planted intuition that carries a millennia of answers and practices suited to your unique relationship with your baby. It is your greatest power and your deepest magic as a woman.