While I aim to offer assistance to others in the lifelong, but imperative, journey toward discovering and implementing theirs, I don’t believe or suggest there is ONE PERFECT FORMULA that will work for everyone. It is YOUR job, and your right, to discover and implement YOUR FORMULA, using all of the many profound tools, resources and people resting patiently at your fingertips, awaiting your awareness of, and desire to use, them. And you have to be comfortable with needing to adjust, alter and redefine that formula often and always.

I AM HAPPY. Genuinely. Authentically. For so many reasons. None of which are because I have tons of money, the perfect relationship, no debt, no stress, no aches, no pains or no worries. All of which are because I have spent my life searching, researching, trying, exploring, listening, watching, changing, growing, evolving, analyzing. Intentionally. Discovering paths that lead to MY happiness and MY health and MY joy. Internal paths, external paths, mental paths, spiritual paths, physical paths, philosophical paths. Choosing consciously and confidently at every step of the way.

SO, THIS IS MY BEST FORMULA YET, in case you’re interested:

MY MORNING: I wake up without an alarm between 5:30am and 6:30am. I rinse my face with cold water, drink a glass of warm water and make my yerba maté. I take my Ancient Minerals, probiotics, D3 and B12. I read for 30 minutes to an hour, on my couch, sipping my maté. Three or four days a week I do Nei Kung and/or yoga at home, or I dance, or jump on my mini trampoline, or some combo of all of these. Then I turn on my morning music (Otis Redding, Gypsy Kings, Toumani Diabaté, Manu Chao, Ray LaMontagne) and make my breakfast. Breakfast is something like 1) smoothie with homemade nut milk, Infinity Greens powder, camu camu (vitamin C) powder, hemp seeds, organic fiber, tocotrienols, dates, coconut flakes, vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon or 2) steel cut oats with homemade nut milk, ghee, raw honey, hemp seeds, dates, spices or 3) two organic, pasture-raised, free range, soy-free eggs with sauteed/steamed kale/collards/mustard/dandelion greens with zucchini hash topped with a couple of spoonfuls of sauerkraut. I toss my legume/rice/grain (that were soaked overnight) into my Vitaclay cooker with spices, garlic, onion, carrots, etc. and chop up some veggies and toss them in the oven at 400 degrees, so I can take my lunch to work. Then I shower and get ready, dressing every day as though I have somewhere important to go, something exciting to do, someone interesting to meet. It’s only 9am by the end of this and I feel entirely ready to embrace the day, which is always an exciting endeavor to me.

MY JOB: I own a Tiny health shoppe AND a real estate company, and I “do” both full time. I LOVE to “go to work” every day. It is my happy place. I built MY HAPPY PLACE from the ground up, using whatever money, ideas and experience I had. I didn’t just stumble upon it, I CREATED IT. I used WHO and WHERE I was and what I was already DOING to carve out a special nook for my ideas, visions and life to fully come alive. I suppose I have always done this but never really took the leap into my own creation before opening Tiny Taiga, which was/is just the “beginning” of this next phase of this lifetime. Woohoo!

I go to MY HAPPY PLACE five days a week, the other two days I show houses, run errands, and/or go on barefoot nature walks or to movies by myself. The first thing I do when I open the shoppe is spray my Cypress/Eucalyptus/Tulsi/Petitgrain/Orange essential oil blend (or some other earthy, uplifting, calming blend) into the air, I water and talk to my plants, turn on all 15 lights, put out my signs and turn on the appropriate music for my mood that day. I dust, I sweep, sometimes I sage and bless the energy of the space. I spend the day on my computer bouncing from window to window, searching the MLS for properties for my real estate clients, sending emails, researching products for the store, paying invoices and bills, attending to my social media endeavors (yes, frequently wasting far too much time on it), reading articles, thinking about and planning for what’s coming next, writing, contemplating life, and helping customers (this part brings me more joy than I could have ever imagined.)

MY DAY: I literally AM grateful for each moment of my day, knowing that they ALL offer me opportunities, insights, experiences, ideas and wisdom. I have spent a lifetime coming to, and cultivating, a place where I am actually LIVING my belief system, my “spirituality”, my philosophy, my yoga, my soul’s desires and callings. I trust myself, my intuition and my heart implicitly, and know that each moment of my life is there for a reason. Because I called them forth. Because I needed them. Because hidden truths and opportunities to grow lay within them. Because I take FULL and TOTAL responsibility for my health and happiness, and I am EMPOWERED by this. Because I am NOT attached to particular outcomes or answers, but rather to the experience, the gift and the journey of life. I SEE the many possible feelings and perspectives at any given moment and I CHOOSE the ones that bring me the most joy, fulfillment and sense of purpose. This is MY CHOICE and I choose wisely and carefully.

MY NIGHT: As my “job” never really comes to a close from day to day, I counter this potential stress by closing up at 6pm on the dot and either 1) heading home to cook dinner, read and/or watch a movie; OR 2) dinner with friends. I prefer to be home by 9pm-10pm and definitely in bed by 11pm. I spent the better part of my life with sometimes zero hours of sleep, sometimes two or three hours, if I was lucky. For a variety of reasons, sleep was totally foreign to me most of my life BUT I still got up every morning ready to jump head first into my day. The last year I have somehow discovered almost regular sleep. Like six or seven hours this last month! Provided I am in bed by 11pm and in my own bed. So this I do without fail now. I DO NOT have the internet or television at my house. It is a peaceful, quiet, cozy oasis for my body, mind and spirit, and I love being there. I feel discombobulated if I don’t spend at least three nights completely, quietly at home.

When I get home, I turn on some cello, opera or classical music and cook. I experiment. I try things. I throw things in pots. Some meals are superb. Some are odd. ALL are healthy, nutritious, balanced, vegetarian and make me feel good. Food IS my medicine. For this awareness and understanding, I am profoundly grateful.

MY MEDICINE: Outside of one round of the appropriate strong antibiotics to kill MRSA after trying to treat it naturally myself for a month (not knowing what it was) and having the infection grow to the size of an egg in my armpit causing extreme pain and fear, finally deciding I HAD to get help (it was starting to seep into my bloodstream) and to turn myself over to a doctor who had to cut it open (which felt like someone was slicing my whole body open with a fiery sword), I HAVEN’T taken so much as a Tylenol, Nyquil, Advil, Aspirin, Claritin, etc. in nearly 20 years. 20 FRIGGIN YEARS of NO DRUGS of any kind. Which is not to say I haven’t had plenty of pain, haven’t been sick, haven’t felt crappy, haven’t had headaches, haven’t been sleepless or haven’t been stressed.

But when I feel sick, in pain, exhausted, out of balance or stressed. I try to LISTEN to my body and intuition to understand WHY and I try to facilitate my healing, balancing and alignment, in a variety of ways, holistically, emotionally, physically and naturally. I don’t overreact to pain. I listen to it. I acknowledge and honor it as a sign and call from my body to take notice of something needing attention. I don’t try to stifle the symptoms, I listen to them. And I react and adjust accordingly, trying to identify the CAUSE. That might mean more exercise, more movement, more nature, more greens, more breathing, more vitamins, more minerals, more love, more laughter, more dancing, more meditating, more thinking, more trying, more digging, more releasing, more searching, more connecting, more sleep, more relaxation, more home time. I use herbs, supplements, water, sunshine, food, rest, holistic treatments and intuition, and I bring myself back to a state of health and general vitality as quickly and as consciously as possible.

I HONOR and listen to my body, and I value and respect my relationship to it, and its stunning relationship to everything else. I am not afraid of my body and I trust no one with it more than I trust myself. I am so grateful for my beautiful, strong, powerful body and I do everything I can to feed it, fuel it and love it.

MY DIET: I don’t eat red meat or poultry. I eat fish maybe once every week or two. I eat eggs 2–3 times a week. I don’t eat refined/processed sugars of any kind. I don’t eat wheat (unless I’m somewhere like Europe or Turkey and then I eat wheat the whole time I’m there, I gain 10 pounds and get a cold, and then I come home and don’t eat it anymore). I mostly don’t eat any gluten at all, but sometimes have whole spelt and oats. I don’t eat processed foods, processed flours or anything artificial. I don’t eat packaged foods. Outside of butter, and kefir on rare occasion, I don’t eat dairy. I don’t drink coffee. I drink one to two glasses of wine, two to three nights a week sometimes. I don’t drink any other alcohol. I eat lots of brown (and sometimes basmati or wild) rice, lentils (red, green, black, brown) and beans (mung, adzuki, garbanzo, cannellini, pinto - soaked overnight first) quinoa, nuts, seeds (hemp, chia, flax, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin), avocados, olive/coconut/sunflower/sesame oils, butter/ghee, spices and herbs (I use a LOT of spices and herbs), Himalayan pink or Celtic gray sea salt, and an ENORMOUS AMOUNT AND VARIETY OF VEGETABLES. So many vegetables, so many different ways and combinations. When I see vegetables, I see life. I see nutrients. I see color and vibrancy. I see earth and nature. I see sunshine and soil. I can’t get enough of them. I eat a lot of Spirulina and Chlorella. I eat raw chocolate (sweetened with honey or coconut sugar.) I drink a LOT of purified water (I have a filter on my kitchen sink and I use that water for everything.) I drink a lot of herbal teas. I make a lot of turmeric milk/teas at night.

I also use only all-natural, chemical-free skin, hair and body care products, household products, soaps and detergents, toothpastes, etc.

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE TOOLS: Music - music follows me, supports me, stimulates me, calms me, excites me, moves me, inspires me and motivates me, and I use it throughout my day to create the mood I want to experience, I sing, I dance, I air drum. Nature and sunshine - this is where I know and see the connection between everything and this is where I can breathe, feel whole and entirely alive. Quiet and calm - I relish in, and am non-negotiable on, my peace, my serenity, my meditation and my private time. Good food - this is how I feed myself, how I honor myself and how I acknowledge my intention to be healthy and live a long, powerful life. Plants — I use them to eat, to treat, to smell, to taste, to heal, to balance, to soothe, to drink, to apply to my skin (my largest organ.) Movement - all movement moves me, and I don’t require a class or a video or a gym to strengthen, stretch and support my body. Books - there are so many to learn from, to explore, to help guide and assist, to inspire, to challenge, to shine light on and to deepen understanding. Laughter and lightness - I do not take anything that seriously. I look for the upside, I play, I talk to myself, I entertain myself, I try to lighten the load for others, I try to help them see the bigger picture.

I have never wanted to be anyone else or have anyone else’s life. I have only wanted to live the fullest, richest, most authentic life I could and to be the highest and best version of My Self. And that means being me, being healthy, being balanced, being willing to take risks, listening, learning, evolving, trusting, trying, exploring and skillfully riding the wave.

Yes, I absolutely aim to inspire others to find their own formulas. One day, moment, post, person, experience at a time.