Q: What does holistic wellness mean to you?
A: For me when I make the effort each day to prepare healthy meals, use organic and Eco beauty practices, and nurture my body with meditation, yoga and positive thinking, then I feel my mind, body and spirit are well + balanced. It starts with a prayer and gratitude practice before my feet touch the ground in the morning. I consciously make the choice to live from a grateful heart and life seems to flow so much better for me when I take the time to do these daily wellness rituals.
Q: What does self-care mean to you and how has this changed or evolved over your life ?
A: The definition of self-care has changed dramatically for me over the years. Back in the day, that meant copious amounts of shopping and acquiring, “things.” Whether I felt I needed the newest MAC makeup release, or designer clothing or pretty much anything that I thought I “had” to have. I’ve learned that self-care is not about purchasing things. It’s about loving yourself enough to know that you deserve to put the time into yourself. For me that means kindness to myself. Stopping the inner mind chatter that can be so unproductive. I remind myself to meditate and savor the quiet. I like to spend time by myself enjoying simple rituals like making my afternoon tea and enjoying it with a walk through my garden. Little things really are the big things to me and they keep me grounded and feeling cared for.
Q: What have you learned about yourself through your experience dealing with several chronic illnesses?
A: I’ve learned that I’m not only a survivor, but I’m wellness warrior. Living with chronic illness can be draining emotionally, physically and spiritually. But I’ve learned to be grateful for the health that I do have. I’m much stronger than I ever imagined I could be. I have faith in the Universe and believe that I will be able to heal from the illnesses I have. It’s the belief and power of being hopeful for a cure that gives me peace and comfort when I’m having a tough day dealing with pain.
Q: How did you come to holistic health? What are some of the holistic healing modalities that have been most helpful to you on your journey?
A: My introduction to holistic health began when I discovered Natalia Rose. I read her book and that sparked my interest in the power of food and wellness practices for living a healthier lifestyle. Shortly after, I met up with her for a consultation. We instantly clicked and I became her assistant during her second book: Detox 4 Women. I also became a part of her Holistic Health Program called The Rose Program where I learned a great deal about detox and healthy living.
Q: I myself have dealt with anxiety from a very young age and very much admire your writing so honestly about your experiences of it. I can relate to the overwhelming and sometimes paralyzing feelings it can create. What are some tools and practices you utilize to work through your anxiety?
A: First of all, my heart goes out to you and anyone else suffering from anxiety. When those feelings come upon a person, it's not something to ever be ashamed of. Years ago when I began my blog, I started writing openly about the anxiety I periodically experienced. It was difficult for me to be so transparent with my readers. I was scared that people would judge me in a negative way. With so much talk about projecting confidence out into the world, and "fake it until you make it", I felt my feelings could be considered weakness or a character flaw. The more I researched about anxiety, and how common it is, I decided to open up the discussion. I started having people write to me and say that I helped them feel less alone and more hopeful. When I realized that I could have an influence in encouraging others to to be open and honest with what they were feeling, it helped my anxious thoughts transform into a cathartic healing experience for both parties.
I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since a young age and it progressed severely in my teens to the point where I was actually unable to leave my house without intense discomfort.. After working with a therapist to learn cognitive behavior practices I started to get my life back. All the experiences I went through and still struggle with, has only fueled my passion for learning more positive strategies for coping. I have done so much personal work over the years to help the feelings of anxiety. For me I've found that it goes hand in hand with my physical health conditions. It's like a vicious cycle that I am always trying to break. One of the hardest things is accepting that sometimes panic happens even for no reason at all. I've had panic attacks while simply brushing my teeth or calmly reading a book and out of nowhere it hits. Those moments are the scariest and I find it is best to not over analyze and wonder what the cause is, but to instead accept the uncomfortable feelings, breathe through it knowing it will eventually stop. It always does.
The most helpful tools for me have been to talk to someone who knows what you are going through. This can be anyone from a therapist to a friend, lover, family member or even a stranger. Once you have validation that those feelings are not something that you alone experience, you automatically feel a sense of relief. The second thing is to read and research as much about positive coping skills to help you get through a rough patch. I keep the book, "Hope and Help For Your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes with me at all times. I literally carry it in my purse and refer back to it when I start to feel panic heightening. As Dr. Weekes recommends in her book, "What you might have to learn is how to not get in your own way, how to simply let floating happen.". What she meant was to try and float through the feelings to regain a sense of calm and the fastest way to do that is to go along with the sensations of anxiety and panic, rather than to oppose them.
When you re-read passages in her book about the common symptoms most people experience, and then are reassured that it's all part of the process, and that it will stop has been nothing short of life changing for me. I also recommend essential oils, flower remedies and specific supplements like GABA, Magnesium, Potassium and L-Theanine because they have been extremely helpful for me. I practice meditation daily and I try to remind myself that "this too shall pass." Anxiety is something that I have struggled with and continue to do so, but with that said, I've learned a lot about myself and this condition and know that I'm just one of millions of people going through the same thing.
Q: You have written about the power of positive affirmations. Can you talk tell us about this and how it has impacted your life?
A: Trading negative thoughts for more empowering positive affirmations has been a daily meditative practice for me. When I first started, I was disappointed because I was hoping for a quick "fix" and thought it was going to be an easy and fast transformation. Personal thoughts and the language we repeat to ourselves needs to be uplifting, positive, loving and empowering. We forget how many negative subliminal messages we internalize in a day. I like to remind myself to be as kind to myself as I am to the people that I love and cherish. The word I focus on mostly is gratitude. Whenever I think about what I have working in my life, rather than what isn't working, it just feels better.
Q: What were you doing before your started Beauty By Britanie?
A: I was studying Psychology at a college in Massachusetts and part-time mentoring with, Natalia Rose, the Founder of The Rose Program. I became a Detox Counselor and contributed to her book, Detox 4 Women. I was also doing freelance photography and makeup artistry in my spare time.
Q: What inspired you to create it?
A: I have always enjoyed documenting my life and from a young age I always had a journal with me. I loved sharing my experiences and hearing about others experiences and having that connection with another person has always been so important to me. I was inspired to start my blog to connect with like-minded people and to be able to help others in any way possible.
Q: What have you learned from your success ?
A: I have learned that success does not come by way of numbers. You cannot measure your success by the amount of followers you have, or how many likes you get. It is so easy to get caught up in things like this with so many social media platforms but I have learned that for me, success is hearing from someone that I helped them to be able to open up to their family about their struggle with panic attacks and no longer feel ashamed. To hear that I made someone not feel so alone with what they are going through or that I helped someone want to change their way of living to a cleaner, more conscious way of life. Being able to reach and help another person is success to me.
Q: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of the work you do?
A: My favorite part is the like minded people that I have met and connected with over the years, many whom have become my greatest friends. The feedback from readers has enhanced my life so much when they write to let me know that I’ve motivated them to create healthier changes and upgrade their own wellness routines.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges?
A: One of the biggest challenges is finding balance. This is especially hard given my health challenges. I have a mind that wants to get every single thing done and a body that often does not want to cooperate so finding the balance between pushing myself but not to the point of overwhelming myself is a challenge that I am still learning. Another challenge in terms of trying out products is that there are so many new eco, organic green beauty brands being introduced to the market and it’s hard to test out everything myself. I’ve even broken out with eczema because I overwhelmed my skin by testing too many products at the same time! I am quite the sensitive one and have to be very careful and patient while testing products out. The upside to this is that it gives me ample time to REALLY be able to try out a product and know how it works.
Q: Working as a freelancer and running your own company how do you stay inspired, motivated and grounded?
A: My work is really not work at all to me. Writing about wellness and sharing musings about healthy holistic living is my passion. I get inspired by other writers and I’m forever learning from these intelligent authentic muses. My flower essences from Lotus Wei and Alexis Smart keep me grounded. My essential oil blends from Hope Gillerman keep me balanced and my beloved crystal collection for healing earth energy.
Q: Who are some women who have influenced you on your journey?
A: There have been so many women that have influenced me in the wellness community. Lacy Phillips/Free + Native, Shiva Rose/The Local Rose, Ashley Neese/ AshleyNeese.com, Katie Hess/ Lotus Wei, Amanda Jo/ OrganicBunny.com, Natalia Rose/ Detox the World, Laurel Shaffer/ Laurel Skin, Kimberly/ Kimberlyloc.com, Nitsa Citrine/ Sunpotion.com, Diane/ modernmineralsmakeup.com.
Q: What are some of your go to resources for holistic wellness?
A: I’d have to say that Lacy Phillips, the Founder of: Free + Native: A Modern Guide for Holistic Living is my #1 resource for everything wellness. I also am a huge fan of reading The Chalkboard Mag and Well & Good. I’m an avid reader and love shopping on Amazon and reading reviews of books for holistic living. I can get stuck on there for hours.
Q: What is your vision for the future of Beauty by Britanie?
A: Oh, where to start! Well for my blog, I see it turning into something that is much broader than just "beauty". Although beauty is a huge part of what I do, I always meant for the word to be more than physical beauty. I plan to share more about my holistic wellness practices, more home inspired posts, I also have a vision of my own product line in the future. This has been something that I have been working on for years now and had a taste of success when I collaborated with Modern Minerals and Lotus Wei on a lip gloss and blush. I was able to help in the creation of these two products that were part of the Beauty by Britanie Bohemian Collection and it was such an inspiring time in my life! That experience made me realize how much I would love to share my own beauty, wellness and holistic products with the world. I'm always thinking, creating & concocting recipes. I'm proud to say that I've already come up with a few really great products, that I'll be sharing soon. I also see an online store opening for me in the future. I've also considered speaking publicly at events, to be able to share so much of what I've learned with others. Some of these visions scare the heck out of me and will push me way out of my comfort zone, but at the same time the ideas excite me and I believe we all have to work through our fears in order to REALLY get to where we want to be. I'd love to speak about my journey dealing with chronic health issues and how it has lead me to this path of clean living. I have MANY visions and am constantly manifesting and putting them out to the Universe to move them forward at the perfect time.
If you haven't already be sure to check out Britanie's site Beautybybritanie.com and find her on instagram at @britaniefaith