Annapurna Woman Denise Andrade-Kroon
How do you start your day?
I try to wake earlier than my husband and son, so that I can make myself a cup of creamy coffee and sit on my chair near our front window and use that time to pray, meditate or just simply sit in stillness while I watch the steam from my cup or the birds dancing around outside. During the summer time, I do this ritual on my front step, with my dog cuddled close and birdsongs surrounding. If more time is allowed, I will read a few pages of a book. Morning rituals are very important to me and really shift my whole entire day depending on if I am able to create that sacred space or not.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?
Letting my tears fall is a huge release for me either alone or with someone I feel utterly safe being vulnerable with. I try to be mindful of my breath and since I hold so much in my chest, I open my chest up while I breathe in and out. I take long drives with the windows down to feel the wind in my hair and I sing. I curl up with a blanket and some of my favorite nourishing foods and watch a film or read a book. I allow myself to say no to something that may deplete me, which is not easy for me to do at times. This creates space for me to cocoon and quiet my mind from the constant chatter and energies I can feel and hear being such an empathic soul.
What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?
When I am in nature moving my body, especially those moments I am able to be alone and truly connect to mama earth and God, it feels so very transformative and full of high vibrations. Also witnessing my son connect with and move deeply other people. Along with his special needs comes a very healing essence about him and it fills me up with life to witness. And laughter...pure from the deepest part of my core laughter with a loved one. It’s such medicine for my soul.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
Books have piled up on my bedside that have been lonely for me. My fingers are just now dancing through pages of various ones here and there. My husband used to be a librarian and brought home many vintage classics that I am just now beginning to explore. I love the look and feel of a very old book in my hands. I would also say the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon most recently caught my interest again because I have to be honest, I am a bit of a Science Fiction nerd and the idea of time travel intrigues me! I am in a place right now in my life where I am navigating big transitions and gathering so much information, so I have discovered that escaping into some sort of fantasy through a book is quite nourishing.
What are you listening to right now?
All day and into the night we play Pandora stations Snatam Kaur & Dean Evenson throughout our home on a speaker system.
What is your go-to simple recipe?
I call them Brown Rice Wraps. My friends call them Boho Love Wraps. I heat up a brown rice tortilla over low heat in a skillet pan with avocado oil until it is soft enough to use as a wrap (brown rice tortillas are very stiff when not warmed up). I then put inside whatever veggies and protein I have in my home that I am craving. Typically that is herb salad, shredded carrots, sliced red or orange peppers, sliced cucumbers, some type of cheese (if I am doing dairy), a wee slice of fresh sandwich meat (if I am doing meat) and then top it with avocado slices. I may put a dollop of hummus or smear vegenaise on half of the tortilla before I wrap it up. I then cut it in half, gaze at the gorgeous beauty of all the colorful layers and take a bite. Most everyone has absolutely loved them and they feel so very light.
What are some simple things you do for self-care?
I think so many of us feel that self care means something unattainable if we have very full days giving of ourselves to whomever or whatever is needing us. It helps me to remember that even just being aware of my breath, and taking time to be still for just one minute to breathe deeply in and out. That feels like self care. Long showers, feeling mama nature on my skin, drying my hair by our fireplace, flowers or herbs intertwined throughout my braids, baths with flower petals, buying myself flowers or picking them from my garden and placing them all over my home in bottles, burning incense, diffusing essential oils: this is the type of simple-self-care that has helped me find my center over the last 5 years of my life. Since as a mama, I am going through that time where there is some separateness within our togetherness as a family (new school and friends for my son, etc), I am noticing more space opening up space for self care. This is why for this year, Self Care is my mantra. I am trying to find my way around what that means for me beyond just the simple now that I have more time to myself.
What does nourishment look like to you?
Nourishment encompasses so many things for me. Of course there is nourishing with what I put inside or around my body: whole, clean food and drink, as well as soft, gentle, flowy layers of fabric for clothing. I also nourish the rest of my senses with romance and beauty surrounding me in my home because I am very sensitive to my environment. This to me means lighting my house up by twinkle lights in each room only, draped fabrics on my ceilings and walls ... and forts all over the place. All of this feels very magical and cocoon-like for me.
How do you make space for play?
I can be a very playful person by nature, so I think I naturally incorporate some sort of play into my days. When I am cleaning the house or cooking meals, I am sure to put on music that inspires my body to groove and will dance around in the midst of what can feel like mundane tasks. Laughter is my medicine, so I look for ways to create laughter. Sometimes that means I send comical texts to my dear friends or family with hopes to make them laugh and it most always turns into fun banter. I also try to organize sacred rendezvous with local friends because being together without our children feels like we are sneaking away and there is such an element of playfulness to that. My husband and I go on a date at least once a month. We’ve just started doing this after 5 years of not. We also reserve one family day during the weekend where we go on adventures for the whole day. Since my husband is naturally a comedian at heart, playfulness is a very organic part of our family togetherness.
What are some favorite mantras you cling to?
Go gently, Let simple be your guide, Listen to your inner, I can create the life I desire, Slow and mindful, Vulnerability and sensitivity is brave and courageous.
Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.
A dear friend once encouraged me to ask myself, “What is it that brings me life?”... and that question changed everything for me. It has been such an inner guide and has truly simplified that which could often feel so complex when making choices. It has gently empowered me to create a life that nourishes rather than depletes my soul.