photo by Lydia Hudgens
WELL / AWARE is a place to explore a simple concept: living well, mindfully.
It’s about cultivating a lifestyle of nourishment, gratitude and giving. It’s about looking inside yourself through habitual movement, meditation and the daily choices your life is made of. It’s not always about a dramatic lifestyle change, but often just moving within the space you’ve created to make your existing life better, doing what you can with what you have and sharing that light with others.
It starts with yourself and extends to your surroundings. Here’s a little bit about my story and how I got here.
SELF / WELLBEING
Taking care of myself is something I’ve understood from an early age, having had an inexplicably stubborn desire to be independent since I can remember. Movement has always been a part of my life, but not in a conventional sense. I tried sports and didn’t like them, so I signed myself up for yoga classes at the town park and recreational center, joining the hippy-dippiest of New Englanders every Monday and Thursday night for an inspiring stretch sesh. I should mention it was 2000: yoga wasn’t as hip as it was now, and I’d just turned thirteen. Did that make me a super odd-ball, introspective eighth-grader? You bet. But marching to the beat of my own drum was all I knew how to do. I haven’t stopped since.
I’ve learned is that it’s difficult to have a sound body (or mind) without considering fuel, and navigating nutrition in an aesthetics-centric foodie culture is simply daunting. One day gluten is out, the next probiotics are in, then we find out that sugar, whether it’s natural or not, is as addicting as cocaine. I love geeking out over the latest food-related research, but I’m most interested in how food affects our energy, mental states, emotional well-being and body image.
OTHERS / CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION
When you’re taking good care of yourself, it gives you energy and space to help others and, as big as it sounds, the world at large. In 2015, we’re finally starting to see the tip of a giant iceberg: our way of living and cycle of consumption (both food and otherwise) is unsustainable and needs to change. In a system that increasingly offers us more: more sales, more clothes, more apps, more filters, more emails, more drinks, more commitments, etc. — living well often requires paring down and examining what really matters.
There are many interpretations of what it means to “live sustainably.” As I started my own journey, I became interested in hearing about the messy process it is — making these decisions to go without and purge is highly emotional and involves unlearning deeply ingrained habits, and letting go. As fashion-loving woman living in New York who admittedly wasn’t raised into this way of thinking, I wanted to know that I could still be myself and consume more consciously without going broke and sacrificing my personal style. It isn’t easy, but it’s about to get easier for you: you’ll find those resources and guides here.
Now deeply steeped in the constantly-evolving wellness movement in New York, I’ve been craving a place that explores the nuances of wellness and conscious consumption, but also how you and I and the community are evolving. I’d be honored to hear and share your stories about how you’re taking steps to become the best version of you, and the meaningful decisions you’re making to improve the world at large. WELL / AWARE will provide the tools, insight, real-talk and inspiration that helped me, with the hope they might work for you too.
I should tell you that I’m not an expert. I’m not a fitness instructor or a dietician or a psychologist, I’m a regular girl who absolutely loves learning about wellness.
The idea for WELL / AWARE grew organically from conversations between friends. I slowly started to realize that this lifestyle is all about the process — it’s never perfect and we’re all learning from each other. It’s a conversation for the greater good. I believe that taking care of yourself and extending that energy beyond yourself is a natural continuum. Why not make it bigger?
I’m so happy you’re here for the ride.