Archives for September 2017

My Skin Care Story & Go-To Products

As a teenager I remember struggling with massive ingrown zits on my face. These are the ones that do not pop if you give them a nice, tough squeeze… but rather just get bigger and more painful.

I never struggled too bad with acne as a teen or young adult. It was really just those big zits that gave me trouble. It seemed like I would have at least one on my face at all times. If one cleared up, another would appear right away.

The insecurity I felt from these large bumps led me to try various face cleansers, scrubs, exfoliants, lotions, etc. During this time in my life, natural products were not something that myself, my friends, and family members had ever heard of before. So, as a result, the skin care products I tried out were filled with harsh chemicals.

“The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every single day without even knowing. And 60 percent of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bodies.” – Research by Bionsen, a natural deodorant company

At this time I was also covering my face with make-up. Liquid foundation, powder on top, bronzer to get that oh-so-desired tan look… yeah all that good stuff. All of which was laden with toxins.

It was not until I made some major shifts in my life that my skin problems fully resolved.

The first change I made was eliminating makeup from my daily routine.

In fact, I went a full month without wearing makeup just to see what would happen to my skin. Truth be told… this 30 day challenge was a game changer.

Sure, I’ll admit – it was not easy in the beginning. The first few days were incredibly difficult. I couldn’t help but feel less beautiful in my natural skin. I compared what I perceived as the “flawed” version of myself to the “prettier” version of myself who wore makeup. I knew that this was not how I wanted to relate to my true, natural self. I saw this misalignment as a BIG problem that I wanted to fix so I was determined to keep going with the challenge.

30 days later
– I had a much healthier relationship with my natural self. Giving my skin room to breathe instead of caking makeup on it actually ended up greatly improving the texture, pore size, and overall look of my skin. I was ecstatic. From the inner and outer transformation that took place during this life changing experience, I knew that I would most likely never cover my face with makeup again.

The second major change I made was eliminating all toxic products from my body care routine.

Instead of finding a natural alternative for every single product I was using… I actually simplified a TON. There was no rhyme or reason for this other than the fact that I did not have much insight on the natural products that existed in the world. Instead of researching for replacement items, I omitted many items altogether.

I went from using various cleansers, creams, lotions, hair care products, to using a total of only 5 products: Toothpaste, Shampoo, Conditioner, Dr. Bronner’s Soap, and my all time favorite… Coconut Oil. I stuck with just these 5 products for over 3 years and man have they served me well.

Other vital life changes that I made which impacted the quality of my skin include…
  • Eating a plant powered diet – composed of mainly whole foods and tons of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Engaging in physical activity on a regular basis – weight lifting, running, yoga, hiking, swimming, canoeing, etc.
  • Staying hydrated – drinking as much as my body asks for – recently this has been coming in the form of pure alkaline water
  • Getting plenty of rest – for me this means 8-10 hours of sleep most nights, and last but not least…
  • Keeping my stress levels low – I do this by only filling my life with material items, relationships, and experiences that add value to my life – also by engaging in activities that put me into a meditative state such as making art, cleaning/organizing, and exercising.

Looking back on my journey of establishing a natural body care routine… I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I love the simplicity of having just a handful of products that I use for natural hygiene and general self care.


In sharing my personal journey with you, I am not telling you what is right or wrong.

I recognize that not everyone’s journey is going to mimic mine. In fact, everyone’s journey is going to be unique to them! Not everybody strives to use only 5 products. You may feel a great sense of joy in having a more extensive face care, hair care, or body care routine. Some people love the process of putting on makeup, doing their hair, or soaking in the bath with a face mask on, immersed in their favorite aroma.

If you are someone who LOVES your routine but are striving to find more natural products to use, I want to introduce you to Arbonne.

Arbonne carries botanically inspired skin care and makeup collections. I discovered them in the Summer of 2017 and immediately felt excited to share this brand with you! Although I knew it was not just that simple… I first wanted to try out their products to ensure that they are just as incredible as they seemed upon my initial discovery.

To be completely transparent with you, I had no desire to expand the number of body care items I own and use upon testing Arbonne’s collections. My primary goal was to find an epic natural skin care and makeup brand that I could share with individuals who are seeking to replace their chemical based products.

After trying various Arbonne products for a few months, I was surprised to actually find a few which I’ve decided to continue incorporating into my personal routine.

Daily:

  • Toothpaste

2-4x each week:

  • Nourishing Daily Shampoo
  • Nourishing Daily Conditioner

1-7x each month:

  • Gentle Daily Cleanser (from the Calm Collection)
  • Rescue & Renew Detox Mask
  • Baby Care Sunscreen (Yes, for me! Y’all know I don’t have a baby!)
  • It’s A Long Story Mascara

When comparing this list to my go-to 5 products that I’ve been using for years, there are really only 4 additions to my routine, all of which are listed in the last category of items that I use 1-7x each month. Let’s dive into each of these items and why I chose to add them into my life!

Do I even wash my face?
Ever since I stopped with my old chemical filled products, I never really established a healthy face cleansing routine. I normally just rinsed my face with water and use a teeny dab of Dr. Bronner’s soap on rare occasions. Arbonne’s Daily Cleanser has filled this void for me. I still don’t find it necessary to wash my face daily, as I believe my skin cleanses itself naturally. But once in awhile I’ll feel some build up of sweat or dirt that I feel could use a bit more than just water to get off. This is where an occasional wash with the daily cleanser comes in. 🙂

I’ve never really been one to use face masks…
In fact I’ve probably used less than 5 in my entire life until trying out Arbonne’s Rescue & Renew Detox Mask. This. Thing. Is. Insane!!! Once applied and dried, it shows the spots on your face where toxins are being pulled out. After rinsing it off for the first time, I was hooked. In a good way! In most cases I feel like the healthiest thing I can do for my skin is leave it alone and let it be. But there’s something about this detox mask that feels extremely healthy and beneficial. I imagine it’s the detoxification. 🙂

Ah, the product that I get the most questions about… Sunscreen!
I don’t know how much you know about traditional/basic sunscreens, but if you don’t know about the potentially dangerous and unhealthy side effects of them I highly recommend you seek out scientific studies to gain more insight on this topic. Arbonne sunscreen is made with antioxidants, vitamins, and botanical ingredients. My personal go-to approach regarding skin care and the sun is to simply monitor my skin while I’m outside. Living in Hawaii makes it easy to spend full long days in the sun but I do not do this very often. My sun exposure varies slightly but not too much. During a typical week I tend to spend 10-12 hours in direct sunlight. On average this equates to less than 2 hours / day. If I know i’m going to be in the sun for a long period of time I might apply some Arbonne sunscreen to my more sun-sensitive spots such as my shoulders, chest, nose, and cheeks. My favorite parts about this particular sunscreen are that it’s main ingredient is Aloe Vera and it doesn’t feel greasy on my skin.

Oooh makeup! Let’s talk about it.
After years without makeup I’ve recently been dabbling with mascara again. I have only worn it a handful of times in the past few months and I’ve got to be honest with you, I really do like it. Although my utmost favorite thing is having a natural face and body without ANY products, I also do feel a little excitement and joy with wearing mascara every now and then. The Arbonne Mascara is made with pea and bamboo extracts that help condition your lashes, polypeptides which contain skin-conditioning amino acids, and various other eyelash benefiting ingredients.


Well, if you’ve made it this far, props to you!
I have so much to share about this topic and I’m so very appreciative that you are interested in hearing all about it.

In general, my approach with my personal body care routine is to keep it as simple and natural as possible while also feeling free to try new things.

If you’re in a place on your personal care journey where your intuition is telling you to try new and natural products, then I imagine Arbonne will be a great fit for you.

To receive the best deals on Arbonne products simply click here and sign up as a “Preferred Client”. This costs only $20 to sign up and will allow you receive 20% off of everything that you purchase. *October promotion: Get your $20 sign up fee waived if you spend $150+ on your first order.

Best of luck on your journey to a natural life!

All my love,

Alyse

Sidetracking The Blues Through Gratitude

Have you been waking up on “the wrong side of the bed” lately? Does it take every ounce of mental energy to pull yourself from bed in the morning? Is the depressing state of politics, environmental destruction and human oppression leaving you in despair?

You’re not alone.

Believe me! Even as a self-love advocate, some days the challenges and obstacles that can arise in life leave me feeling stuck in the mud. All it takes is a few unfortunate events or a brief skim of the headlines to send us sliding down the slippery slop of negative thinking.

Suddenly, you find yourself even deeper and thicker in that mud of hopeless, sad mental formations.

So what can we do when the going gets rough and our mental agitation and perspective is only adding fuel to our hard day fire?

Practice gratitude.

Often we can catch the mind fixating on what we don’t have in our life. In these moments, turn this perspective on its head by focusing on the blessings in your life.

You may catch yourself feeling skeptical at this suggestion. But trust me, bringing our focus and attention back to all that we feel thankful for in life is shifting our place from “glass half empty” to “glass half full.”

Just the other day I found myself sinking in the rut of negative thinking, my thoughts rapidly piling on top of my already heavy load, the weight sinking me quicker and quicker in despair and dejection. I felt as if I was flailing in quick sand when I was struck with a moment of clarity.

I have SO much to be grateful for.

A soft smile danced across my face as I rattled off a few of my blessings…“I am grateful for a fantastic best friend that is always affirming my value in her life. I am grateful for my incredible partner who supports my growth and listens with patience and understanding. I am grateful for my able body and all it gifts me. I am grateful to be able to fuel my body with nutrient dense, vibrant foods that leave me feeling energized…”

Almost instantly I felt the brief moment of icy confusion melt away, my heart beaming and opening to the warmth of the love that surrounds me in life.

This is not to suggest that we use gratitude practices to neglect or deny the hardships of life. I encourage you to feel your emotions.

Feel them deeply.

Some wounds demand time to process and space for us to drop in and touch tenderly. Consider a gratitude practice the life-preserver that keeps you from sinking. It’s the anchor that holds you firmly in turbulent tides.

The world is a pretty intense place. We need not look far to bear witness to the pain and suffering of reality. But truth be told, there’s only so much in our control regarding the state of the world. We may not be able to transform it over night. Yet while we watch the merits of our hard work of spreading messages of love, compassion and justice for all beings unfold, we can use what tools we have to navigate a heavy hearted world with mental clarity and ease.

While the world can be a scary, ugly place, we need not lose sight of its immense beauty too.

Sometimes, we can lose sight of the simple tools that aid us in moments of confusion and fear. It’s when we remember them that we can witness their immense potential to provide refuge and relief in life’s most difficult times.

This is a reminder.

When the waters become murky from the mud of life’s obstacles, consider those you hold closest to you, those who believe in you and all the gifts and blessings of your life to surface you to calmer tides.

It can be as simple as giving thanks for the grocery store clerk that smiled genuinely at you, or as deep and profound as acknowledging the privileged gift of having access to clean water.

Around each corner you turn, there’s infinite ways to find gratitude.

What are you grateful for today?

Mahalo,

Alyse

How To Discover Your Life Purpose

Do you wake up every morning dreading going to work? Have you been putting all your energy into a job that leaves you feeling uninspired and drained? Are you investing the majority of your time into a career that lacks meaning and value to you?

You’re not alone.

The priorities of the “modern day” person would suggest that life consists of spending the majority of your existence working endless hours at a mundane job to accumulate an excess of possessions and a sizeable retirement fund to finally attempt to enjoy yourself in your later chapters of life. If we were to only ascribe to society’s ideas of life’s pursuits and purpose, perhaps we’d all be chasing after money signs in the never ending rat race of earning, spending and repeating.

I don’t know about you, but what’s been fed to us as the only or proper way of surviving in today’s world doesn’t sound so appetizing to me. Do you dare deviate this master plan and define something unique for yourself?

How do you define the purpose of life?

I know. That’s no simple question, but one worth pondering in our impermanent state of limited days and moments. How will you choose to live your precious, unique, beautiful life? How can you claim your happiest life today?

What is your purpose in life?

≫ Follow Your Bliss.

One of the surest ways to find answers to this deep, pervading question is by following your bliss. Ask yourself, “What can’t I live without?” Is there a passion in your life that when completely absorbed you lose track of time? The saying goes, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!” Consider how you wish to be remembered. How do you want to invest your time and energy?

Start dreaming the all so possible dream in which your greatest passions can also become your livelihood and mode of sustaining yourself.

Perhaps you don’t even get paid to give this service to the world. We often put too much emphasis on career and what we do as livelihood as defining our worth and who we are. So much so that one of the first questions we are upon meeting someone new is, “What do you do?” “Well, I do a lot of things!” I often enjoy responding to playfully challenge the notion that to know me is to know my day job. I encourage you to answer the more important question that leads to the essence of who you are… “What are you passionate about?”

Now go do that!

You can live your life’s purpose and spirit’s desired service whether or not it provides an income. Perhaps you really love animals? I trust you would get great fulfillment and soul nourishment from volunteering at an animal shelter or sanctuary.

Maybe your greatest passion is dancing, but you don’t wish to compromise your relationship to it with the involvement of money and its influence. Then find ways to share your love of movement through performances or offer dance instruction to those who couldn’t access it otherwise.

We can fulfill our life’s calling in ample and creative ways. You can fill the cup of your passions whether or not it pays the bills.

What does your heart song sing?

If we all ask with deep sincerity, we’d all find a similar answer: to live a happy life.

So how does one achieve a life of content and meaning?

A meaningful life is one that connects you with others in a way that contributes to their lasting happiness, as well as your own. Consider what unique traits, talents and experiences you possess and then ask yourself how you can use these to better the world?

Are you a patient and empathetic listener? Consider being a counselor or mentor for those struggling with mental illness, recovering from addiction or healing from trauma. Do you love to bring more beauty into the world by creating art? Find ways to use your medium to share messages of love, understanding and equality to a wider audience, further advancing social justice and change.

Ask yourself how you can support the world in its consistent progress and evolution.

Know that your efforts to uplift others will not only gift the world with your compassion and precious presence, but will grant you lasting happiness and a deep sense of purpose.

≫ Find Role Models.

If there’s something you long to pursue, but you don’t know how to get started, seek out individuals who are successful in your field of interest. Ask for their tips, experience and guidance in achieving your own goals.

Do you long to start your own wellness blog, but don’t know how to get started? Then seek out the wisdom of those who have already begun! Is your greatest passion creating painting, but you feel too scared to start selling your pieces? Find a fellow artist who’s successfully done so for encouragement.

On the other side of every success story is a spacious beginning where your role model likely had similar fears, questions and inexperience as you do. Start believing that you are just as capable as those you admire. You need only begin.

≫ Allow your passion to become your purpose.

Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Imagine a world where everyone pursued what elevated their spirit, spoke to their heart and fulfilled their deep longing for purpose. I imagine we’d live in a far more harmonious world with a chock full of passionate, inspired individuals.

What can you do to strive towards being one of these vibrant beings?

This is your call to take action.

Explore! Try new things. Discover what feels important to YOU.

And please… be patient.

You are not finishing an assignment for a class… you are not meeting that heavy and ambitious deadline sentenced by your superior…

You are responding to your calling.

This is a joyous, lifelong pursuit. One that will not only nourish you, but also all you touch along your path.

Be inquisitive. Take risks. Believe in yourself and your dreams.

Enjoy the journey.

Mahalo,

Alyse