January // Full Moon Edition

L U M E N  L E T T E R S

Yosemite National Park, CA    
Photography: Kitfox Valentín

“You didn't come into this world.
You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean.
You are not a stranger here.”

Alan Watts

Happy New Year, oh luminous ones!
You know 2017 is gonna be a good year when all of these elements align at the stroke of midnight - sitting around a cozy campfire with my wild woods man, tucked away in the wilderness, NYC's skyline illuminated with fireworks in the distance, and nature's confetti in the form of snowflakes floating down around you, creating a soft twinkling sound akin to crystals falling on the crisp winter's earth. Nesting under a snowy starlit sky, cuddled under wool's warmth, I was happy to brave the below freezing temps for this surreal NYE experience. Here's to spending more time outdoors in 2017! 

As I’m developing my branding and exploring my life’s work, I'm noticing a big distinction between myself and others in the NYC health and wellness market is my emphasis on rewilding, or a more ancestrally influenced, nature-based approach to lifestyle design. Not a big surprise there. As an urbanite of over 6 years myself, I see what this city runs on, both figuratively and literally. Blood, sweat, and tears, baby, among other things like superficiality, over saturated everything, and the latest, greatest, trends, fads, and must haves aka consumerism to the max. That's the name of the game in NYC. If you're not doing it all, you're not doing enough. There's an immense amount of pressure to grind it out, at any cost. I'm realizing more and more that this city mentality is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle, no matter who you are. So, without further ado, read on as I highlight this concept of rewilding within the foundations of my work through the rooting threadline of trees.

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When you can't get outside and forest bathe (see BODY section below), diffusing essential oils like pine and spruce can help to replicate some of the physiological benefits of being out among the trees. Makes sense, considering these oils are the essence of the trees themselves. Blue Spruce essential oil is particularly fascinating, as it is the highest frequency oil know to man, vibrating at over 400 hz! So the next time you're craving the fresh air of the great outdoors, or simply need some cognitive clearing (hello memory power!), take a whiff of your favorite evergreen tree derived essential oil. 

I love frolicking through the forest. It makes me super happy. I feel deeply connected to everything around me. I find I can think, move, and breathe with more ease and authenticity. Being out in nature is immensely healing for me - it's really that simple. This was just an intuitive belief I held until coming across the scientific literature backing up how spending time in a living forest can lower cortisol and blood pressure, and increase HRV, among many other physiological perks. The Japanese have been pouring their efforts into scientifically proving the vast health benefits of forest bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, since the early 2000's. Living forest vs. concrete jungle. When it comes to healthy lifestyle design, I definitely live in the way, way weaker of the two environments. Living by Prospect Park sure is helpful, though! Although I can't fully enjoy nature's playground here in NYC. Apparently, hanging inverted from a tree branch isn't allowed. An NYC Park Patrol officer kindly filled me in on this yesterday, mid inversion practice.

The tree of life. It's a common cornerstone of many spiritual ideologies. I've been favoring my Celtic heritage in regards to my spiritual practices lately, so when I was introduced to Yggdrasil, pronounced “IG-druh-sill” (you're welcome), the tree of life rooted in Norse and Germanic mythology, I found myself smitten with delight. Having German ancestry, I find myself personally intrigued by their tales of universal design, depicted in such a beautiful through Yggdrasil and the Well of Urd.
The full moon will bathe the forest floors with light tonight.
What do you wish to bathe with the light of greater awareness in your life? 

Luminous love,

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2016 was rough - add a little more luminosity to your life in 2017.
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