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ON MY PHONE
Time is the most precious thing we have and I have no intentions of squandering it. The world revolves like a machine and it’s asking us to participate in its data gathering ways more and more every day. But you know what? You do not have to be a part of it. Well, of course in a way you do. *Unless you want to live like a hermit. Which has its own worth, lessons and rewards—but isn’t for everyone. I mean you’d have to give up all your skincare products were you to choose a cave-like existence. And who here wants to do that? No, the life of a hermit is not for us.* As there’s great value in being an active member of society, and tremendous opportunities to find personal fulfillment in contributing to the communities and the environments in which you live, and most of all to know you’re making a difference in the world (even if it’s just making a difference in one person’s world—that can be enough). But you do not have to be a participant in the machine-like parts of the world 24/7. You can close the kitchen doors. In fact, it is your responsibility to do so, as you are the chef of your own world. And where this particular chef has gone awry is in scrolling through Instagram whenever she finds herself eating dinner alone.
No more of this. No more Instagram during dinner. Dinner during dinner. Being present in my body during dinner. Looking at my food during dinner. Trying to chew each bite 32 times during dinner. But usually only making it to 16 chews per bite during dinner. Doing all of this to set my body up to properly digest the food I’m putting into it during dinner. That’s the new me. I’m actually ultimately building towards no social media after 7pm, but that’s going to take some time as my nightly schedule fluxuates, I hardly ever check anything during the day, and the images I find do bring me a small but still certain amount of satisfaction. By the way this isn’t a new theme—me and my relationship with my phone. In 2018 I worked on not looking at my phone in the morning until after I’d seen the sun (or the dark morning sky), moved my body, and drank at least one full glass of water. And in 2017 I worked on not looking at my phone while waiting in line in public spaces. What I started doing instead is what I used to do, before I ever had a smartphone: which is to keep my head up, tune in, and look at the world around me. Which incidentally now is mostly comprised of a lot of people with their heads down scrolling through their phones. Which is exactly what I still do at dinner when I’m eating alone. Only, not anymore.
IN MY SPACE
It’s important to get clear on what and whom you want in your personal space. I’m great with the what. In my early 20s all I wanted to own were piles of read books, a choice amount of well-made shoes & clothes, art to put up in a future home, and light backpacks & smooth-rolling durable suitcases to take me all over the world. I lived by this motto: own less, own better. And I still live by it. I invest in quality, not quantity. I’m not one for retail therapy. When I do buy I rarely (if ever) make a return. And when the time comes, I’m great at getting rid of things. Do I need it? Is it purposeful? Does it bring me joy? If I were to move would I pack it up and take it with me? And in the most extreme cases of all, what if I died tomorrow and this was still here? This might seem like a really dark way to look at things, but I don’t want anyone having to wade through any more than what’s necessary if that were to be the case. Each day is a gift. You never know what could happen. So I consistently set aside time to purposefully take inventory while I’m alive. I curate my life. I lighten my load. And I encourage you to do the same. And if at the end of your purge you’re still left with a lot of stuff that’s okay. Having lots of stuff may be your aesthetic. One wo(man)’s trash could be another wo(man)’s treasure. It’s building an awareness around what you own in life that’s the key here—and making sure that your possessions in life are not filling a hole that relationships instead could is THE key—as relationships are what ultimately give us as humans a sense of well-being, happiness, and our lives meaning.
But the faces. What I’m improving upon this year is the faces. I know my worth and I know what I value, and within my inner circle are only people and situations that honor that. But with people in the near outskirts of my circle, I’m not always great at setting boundaries. I could put in more of a ruthless effort here. I’m not talking about being an asshole. That’s an entirely different behavior. Being an asshole is rude, unacceptable and ugly—and we are here for beauty gosh darn it! What I’m talking about is setting boundaries with my time in a kind and respectful way, as everyone deserves kindness and respect. So I’m going to remain kind to everyone. I’m going to remain respectful of everyone. But I’m also going to be more effortful when it comes to drawing a line. Again, time is the most precious thing we have. And it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it and with whom you’d like to spend it. In 2019, it’s top shelf level only for me.
IN MY BODY AND ON MY FACE
I said before that I’m working on paying more attention to my body when I find myself eating dinner alone. I think in general it’s something everyone can benefit from as we don’t typically have enough mindfulness in the body. We’re constantly being pulled away from our awareness of our own bodies. This is not the case when it comes to me and my skin. I am always aware of my skin. And taking care of it by nurturing my gut is of paramount importance to me as a healthy gut is the foundation of healthy skin. They are bound together in their relationship to bacteria, your skin is constantly telling you what’s going on inside your body, and the health of your gut relies entirely upon what you choose to put into it from the outside world. So I’ll say it again. You are the chef of your own world. And as the chef of my own world, I avoid modified foods, synthetic sugars, soy and processed vegetable oils—these are my basics. I eat seasonally and shop at my local Farmer’s Market—these are my if I cans. Which, living in Los Angeles, I am so lucky that I can. I eat real food (i.e. it comes from the earth) and many, many plants—these are my essentials. But most of all, I pay attention to how what I’m putting into my body makes me feel. This is nothing new. This is part of a complex wellness journey in gut health that has been going on for me since 2010. What’s unique for me about 2019 is having the wherewithal to consolidate a handful of useful tips I’ve learned along the way. I mean, you’d think I’d be able to right? I’ve lived nine lives since then. Anyway:
- When I replace a bad habit without filling the void with a good one I sink.
- When I try to eliminate something without getting to the root cause of it, it’s bound to come back to me again.
- Understanding who I am, what fills me up, and what I can digest well is a constant study.
- While detoxing is great, true change for me comes from being diligent in my approach to my health but not dogmatic. As dogma boxes you in. While trusting yourself, and being fluid between the energies of diligence and flexibility, opens you up.
- Ultimate health is about knowing what makes you feel your best so that you always have a lane to which you can return when you get off track.
And as I recently wrote in a postcard to my 49-day-old niece, when it comes to overall health, keep in mind that all you have at the end of the day is how you treated yourself and how you treated others. So make the most of your days. Make room for love so that more of it can walk in. And speaking of love, when it comes to detoxing your skin from a topical level, here are some products worth falling for:
- my Sunday special: Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay mask followed by Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask
- my weekly mask: Goldfaden MD’s Facial Detox
- my daily cleansers: Goldfaden MD’s Detox Clarifying Facial Wash & Odacité’s Green Ceremony Cleanser
- my daily moisturizers: Goldfaden MD’s bright eyes + Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Water Cream
- my nighttime routine: Arcona’s Gentle Solution + Goldfaden MD’s Wake Up Call
HEYLA HEBA HELLOA
And that’s it. Those are the leftovers from 2018 I worked on flushing out this January. And uh oh now it’s February. And I’m writing this one month too late. No I’m kidding. I mean it is February, but it’s not an “uh oh” for being so, and for me to be sharing this now. Because the great thing about January is that it can happen at any time. It’s just that January usually happens during January for me, and in 2019 that was the case. So once more, hello 2019. Goodbye 2018. I hope you find your personal January. I hope you take stock and flush things out. And after you do, I hope you feel freer and more beautiful as you go get em tiger.