In the last few years, some of my most transformative moments of growth came from awakening to the importance of women supporting women. The modern world is moving fast and often really hard, so there’s nothing more necessary than authentic and meaningful connections with a loving community of wise women. I met Emily last year at a Kundalini yoga class that her sister in law was teaching, and I loved her sense of humor. She wise beyond her years. We bonded over our mutual love for all things wellness, writing, and sleep. Emily and her husband own an organic mattress company called Tucked In Organics in Amherst NH. She's a sleep whisperer in town and is passionate about how it affects our lives. I'm excited to share a glimpse into Emily's life.
What or who inspires you to be the best version of you?
Coffee. Ha, only joking. I think I am really inspired by setting goals and working to achieve them. When you start to see them happening because you put in the blood, sweat, and tears to get you there, it actually is a catalyst for your confidence and ability to be a better person to increase.
For example, years ago, I would mope about because I didn't have the job I wanted, I wasn't in the relationship I wanted, I had all of these dreams that I was letting just float on by my while I spent my time not being the person I wanted to be. One thing shifted, and I began to achieve these goals, it became easier for me to be this person I wanted to be. A more caring, present, stable, and giving person. One change led to another, and over time, the shifting has become more gradual and natural.
I am not the type of person to seek out inspiration or force things, and I think that philosophy alone has spawned my own ability to get closer to who I want to be someday. I'm not there yet, I still get annoyed at people driving slowly, I come home grumpy sometimes, and I am not always true to myself. But I try every day and find that as my life is structured in the way that I want it to be, it really inspires me to find these hidden gems of passion and creativity that lie in everyday life and push you further to become the best version of yourself.
What is your favorite quote?
Gee whiz, hardest question ever! How does one pick just one? My favorite quote was the one I devised and posted on Twitter the other night, "Puppies, Rainbows, Butterflys, Cupcakes, and Cherry Topped Ice Cream". Brilliant, right? I have plenty of other quality quotes where that came from. No, ok, in all seriousness. I love Rumi and I think without him I wouldn't have made it through some really long lonely times and I would've lost hope in love all together. Here are two of my favorite Rumi quotes.
“Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”
“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”
To me, these quotes go right along with my philosophy of what is most important in life: LOVE and JOY.
What is your feminine superpower? Or what do you love about being a woman.
I would have to say that my feminine superpower is the x-ray vision I use to see into people's souls. Ok, ok, not really, but I do believe that I am a very aware person that often gets a really deep understanding of what a person is going through and who they are at their very core. It's really very beautiful and I think can sometimes be overwhelming because when you see people for all that they truly are, you cannot dislike anyone! Every superpower has it's kryptonite and I think mine is not always feeling that people are listening and understanding me back, to the fullest. I am very sensitive to two people interacting with one another and with situations being "off", so this superhero kind of couples with what other woman said about hers being sensitive. I think as women we need to embrace these inner gifts, even if sometimes they are both a blessing and a curse. My alternate theory is that I don't have a superpower and everyone in the world feels misunderstood, even by me. However, I think that is far less likely :)
What does deep nourishment mean to you?
Coffee. Ok, just kidding again. I think I used to think that nourishment came in the form of food and what I was putting into my body physically, but over time I have come to realize that all the food in the world does not fill the void of deep connection with others. I love to be connected to those I am interacting with. I dislike surface level conversation and occasions because I really obtain a lot of nourishment from human interaction that is meaningful. These times light a spark under my feet and truly make me feel alive, creative, and energized. Sometimes you have to plan for it, you have to ensure that you're being nourished. But the good news is, is that it can happen anywhere, anytime. I was at the grocery store the other day and had a brief little banter with the bagger that made me feel the inklings of being nourished and nourishing another as well. And sometimes, that nourishment comes in the form of being connected to MYSELF and finding time, space, routine, and the place where I can just be completely alone unconnected from it all.
What is a non-negotiable part of your daily routine?
Sadly, I have lived many years of having ZERO part of my routine be non-negotiable. I went anywhere anyone wanted me to, did whatever people told me to, this was either for work or some relationship I was slaving away for. I knew it was bad, and I felt terrible; living like this ate away at me but I still did it, time and time again. But now, finally, my no compromise is my mornings.
I love the mornings, a hot cup of coffee (have I mentioned I really enjoy coffee?), a newspaper, a book, or even a piece of notebook paper to jot down ideas, and conversation with my husband over breakfast. Of course, this is usually just us trying to talk above the dog's persistent begging to be taken outside to play. But it still is the part of my day that I feel is so crucial to me getting off on the right foot. I have a long drive to work and a long drive from and coming home in a good mood, is also very important to my routine. But I think MOST non-negotiable is this time in the morning to re-balance.
What books are at your bedside?
I am so embarrassed to say this because it's nothing profound! There is a book on my bedside that bored me to tears and I cannot think of the name of it for the life of me. I also have Sleep Safe in a Toxic World by Walt Bader (I own an organic mattress company so I read these types of things a lot to stay up on current chemicals in conventional mattresses and other items in our house). I almost always have a crossword puzzle that meanders from my night table to my dining room table for breakfast. I also keep The Four Agreements at my bedside all of the time because it offers amazing principles that help you to be your very best in all aspects of life. I LOVE to read and I am currently looking for some new, light hearted and inspiring books to be able to hunker down through a New England winter with. I am not SUPER great at being able to stay up while reading in bed (my bed is so darn comfortable!) but I do have plenty of down time and need to find me a good read! So, please.... suggest away!!!
How do you stay healthy?
Some people do really well with no routine, I am not one of those people. Routine is how I stay healthy, eating healthy and consistent (we cook at home 89-100% of the time) and getting a lot of quality sleep. I also fill my life with the people that I love the most and am not afraid to say "no" if something is trying to invade my life and not allow me the time I need for myself and for my family. I try to spend as much time as possible outside, and keep my body (as much as is in my control) aligned with the flow of the seasons. Recently, I've also tried not beating myself up so much mentally and setting monthly health goals. I found out that a lot of my self-inflicted bruises are going away and I can focus on living instead of fretting and worrying about how I just lived.
Can you share a simple + nourishing meal that you make often?
I'm dying to just say a big cast iron pan of roasted veggies, but Karin has already warned me that this won't fly :-) I will say I LOVE to cook and I can cook just about anything I set my mind too. One thing I adore making because it is so versatile, is stuffed squash. My favorite is delicata, but of course you can use any! I bake the squash until it's just that perfect softness. I let it cool on the counter and slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds and then in a separate bowl I mix the carefully scraped out squash "meat", some salt, pepper, olive oil, sometimes a ground nut with garlic, or a cheese, and a nicely roasted vegetables. You can do anything with this! Herbs, rice, literally...anything! Then you just put both halves stuffed back into the oven for a bit to crisp up the top and....voila! Delicious!
How do you deal with overwhelm and stress?
Alone time (like an entire day to myself if possible), a massage, Acupuncture, and making incessant lists. I am really good at just sitting down and getting things done, or running around and getting things done when the heat is on. So, I do get stressed, but I find as soon as I set the ball into motion, that massive stressed out feeling begins to diminish.
Can you share 3 tips or words of wisdom for other women?
1) Judge a little less harshly. Often times it seems that we women are harsh critics. Of ourselves, of other women, and if you're anything like me, most other things under the sun. Remember, though we are all having our OWN individual experience of life, and I think that is important to remember when you are feeling like criticizing something with an extra-judging eye. Remember, grace and understanding get you much farther than assumptions and drawing abrupt conclusions.
2) Don't Text and Drive. I need to apply this advice a little better myself. It's truly dangerous and we watch people get injured or have their lives taken everyday because of neglectful driving. It's such a powerful way to practice "just being" and being present to be where we are in the moment (driving) and not interacting constantly on our electronics. A worthwhile practice at that.
3) Don't Settle for Anything but LOVE and JOY. Your very best life? Your very best you? They are not just phantom ideals out there, they exist! I think living a life that you LOVE and that brings you JOY are so key to becoming your very best self. Those realities are out there. It's not easy, it takes perseverance, and self-work, but it is so so well worth it. It makes me so sad to see women who are just going along with what they think has to be, and not acknowledging or living their fullest potential.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, Karin!
A note from my first interview: In the past year (now 2 years) that I have been writing here, I have shared much of myself on this wellness journey. Or what I like to call "pieces of me." But I am truly inspired by other women - especially the brave, the genuine, the rule breakers, the big hearted, the seekers, the healers - those devoted to leading nourished + empowered lives, so I am adding this piece to my site called "Fierce + Feminine" interviews.
Typically when others' do this, it is done in hopes to spread the word about another's
mission + purpose. And some of the women, I plan to interview have
whole- hearted businesses they are working hard at. But others are choosing to be at home - for now. We all learn from one another.
And this is my dream - a sisterhood of wellness warriors all boosting each other higher.
And NOW, I've decided to change the name of the interviews - to AN ILLUMINATED WOMAN, because I believe all women have light. In some ways, we've forgotten it. It's time to remember. xox
To Illuminate is:
1. to enlighten spiritually or intellectually
2. to supply or brighten with light
3. to make luminous or shining
4. to set alight