LocationNew York City
How do you associate ritual with personal evolution?
Ritual could mean so many different things for me. It could mean lighting a candle and setting aside a glass of water when I pray. Or thinking about where I want to be, walking outside to clear my thoughts. There are two days in the week where I take time to really think about myself, about where I want to be and how I want to grow. But I also leave other days for people who are close to me. I use rituals for myself but also others in my life.
My personal rituals have evolved as I have evolved as a woman. I initially started journaling in college and have picked it back up again over the last few months. I think a lot of the time we have thoughts, feelings, and ideas running through our minds and we can’t catch them because they’re constantly changing. If my mind is moving too fast, I pause to check-in with myself the way you would with a friend: “How are you doing?” “How are you feeling?”
Connection is at the core of your work and practice. How might we mindfully re-connect?
I try to make sure I’m approaching my patients as my most authentic self. I never want to be the person who’s not walking the walk. I know my vulnerabilities and insecurities. And the more mindful I’ve become as a human being, the more empathetic I am able to be with my patients.
I think the issue is the disconnect we have from our inner voice. This is something most of us are challenged with at some point in our lives. We’re constantly distracted and that stimulus closes us off our ability to listen deeply to ourselves and to our needs. A lot of the time with my patients, it’s just about getting them to peel back the layers. Sometimes I give my patients homework like transcribing an affirmation for 5 days straight or carving out 10-15 mindful moments after lunch. Acknowledgment doesn’t have to always be in a time of catastrophe or crisis, but in times of contentment, too.
What are a few herbs that you recommend for this time of year or general anxiety?
I grew up in a Caribbean household, which was my first foray into herbology. My great grandmother or great aunts would visit Haiti and come back with dried herbs. When anyone in my family would get sick or someone was dealing with high blood pressure, there were local bitter herbs that would be used.
Outside of the Haitian herbs, my grandparents boiled onion and ginger and drank that as a way to fight off a cold. As we move into the fall, we need to warm our bodies so that we’re able to assist digestion and store what we need to store in a more supportive way.
My favorite recipe for the season is golden milk, a combination of warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, and black pepper, with herbs like ginger and turmeric. Put the spices in a base of milk (dairy or a dairy alternative) and let them simmer with a bit of honey. The turmeric is anti-inflammatory to help reduce inflammation in the body. The ginger helps to increase circulation.