12/12/2014

Interview x Lauren Spencer King

lauren spencer king

Hello friends! I hope this finds you well. I woke up under the weather and took the day off to rest and take care of myself. Earlier this morning I debated finishing a recipe for the blog because I try to post recipes every Friday. I took some deep breaths and remembered a conversation I had with my dear friend Lauren Spencer King a few months back about the importance of rest and down time.

Within moments of remembering our talk I thought, this is perfect, I’ll share her interview today instead of rallying to finish a recipe! Posting her wisdom today is such cosmic timing and very much in line with our friendship.

Lauren and I connected last fall via our interviews in Freunde von Freunden and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her this last year. She is a wildly talented artist and writer, a gifted healer, and a true wise soul. I adore Lauren because she doesn’t shy away from talking about the stuff in life that is really hard and she opens her heart at every turn. Lauren moves through the world with grace and appreciates the healing power of a good dance session.

In the words that follow, Lauren shares how she listens to her inner wisdom and connects to Mother Earth. She reminds us that at our very core we are all heroes in our own lives. Lauren also includes a nourishing tonic recipe and a fascinating list of where she finds inspiration. I am so excited for you to get to know her!

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What are your self care musts?
The biggest must is just listening to myself. At times this is harder than it sounds. Each time I honor what I need the voice gets stronger and more clear. We have a responsibility to the wisdom that comes to us.

Another self care must is compassion and forgiveness towards myself – because sometimes I don’t listen, and that’s when I really learn the most.

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Do you have a morning or evening ritual? If so, tell us about it.
Mornings have become my favorite time of day. I love getting up with the sun, when it is silent and still outside. I get up and take Ava on a short walk. We come inside and I feed her right away, sometimes she gets a treat on top of her food, some blueberries or a slice of sweet potato. Breakfast is my favorite meal! It changes a bit with the seasons but there are always eggs involved. I make a cup of my special tea (recipe at the end) and if I have time I make some almond milk or fresh juice. These last few weeks I have loved writing in the morning or I do my breathwork meditation, some kirtan chanting, or whatever feels needed. I spend a little time poking around on-line for a bit, reading the New Yorker and the Paris Review, before I start my day.

I also love dusk. I think dawn and dusk have the most beautiful light. I love taking night walks with Ava and looking at the color of the sky and thinking about what colors I would mix together to make that color in a painting. I am usually in bed on the early side with a book. Even as an adult reading before bed is still a magical and intimate time.

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Where do you find inspiration?
The list is long, but at the moment I am starting to work on a show, and this is what I am thinking about / looking at:

Constantin Brancusis’s studio

The work of Ettore Spalletti

The Dolmans of France and Russia

My mum’s closet

Making my own watercolors from pigments made of ground up minerals

Versailles – always Versailles

Felix Gonzalez Torres’s writing on Roni Horn’s Gold Field, 1982

The Egyptian wing at the Met, the art and artifacts and their displays

Pierre Huyghe retrospective at LACMA

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How do you connect to nature?
One of the most important practices that I have is exchanging with nature, sending it gratitude whenever I can. Gratitude is a powerful tool. Mother Nature has so much wisdom, and she teaches us so many lessons and provides us with so much healing.  I am finally really learning about how to tap into this energy in a deep way. I feel a deeper relationship with Mother Nature and her energy is where we are all headed.

Best advice you’ve ever taken.
Dance! A dear friend of mine said to me, “You are a dancer, you just don’t know it”. After that I started to dance more and more and it has transformed my relationship to my body. There was so much of my body that I wasn’t connected to and energy that I couldn’t access. To write here that I am a dancer feels a little funny. In my mind I’m some combination of feeling on the inside like Yvonne Rainer or Pina. And feeling on the outside like the main character in Frances Ha when someone at a dinner party asks her what she does for a living, and she says about her life as a dancer, “It’s kind of hard to explain… eh… because I don’t really do it.”

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Share three of your heroes and why they mean so much to you.
The simplest answer might be that I think we are all capable of doing heroic deeds, no one person any more or any less that an other. I think that at different times in our lives, in different situations, we have all been heroes to our self or to someone else. I think when we face our fears we are heroes, when we stand up for ourselves we are heroes, when we speak up for someone without a voice we are heroes, when we fight for love we are heroes. These moments shouldn’t go unrecognized, or be held up in judgment to those we put on a pedestal. I think these are the moments of bravery that really matter and can make a difference.

What does your body need to feel nourished?
I am always discovering the answers to this question, as I think our bodies are always changing and needing different things. But I will tell you what I do know right now…

I know I need to drink lots of green juice. If money were no object I would do Panchakarma twice a year. I need rest, and I need alone time that is quiet. I need to laugh, a lot. I need to help people. I need to connect with myself, and with nature. I need to create. I need to swim in the ocean. I need to feel a genuine and deep connection with those closest to me. I need intimacy. I need to do the things in my life with intention.

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How do you continue to evolve and grow as a person?
I think once you commit to healing and evolving your soul you have to be open to all the ways that healing and lessons can show up in your life. I think a lot of the time we over aestheticize spiritual growth, sometimes it’s not pretty. It’s not something you can back out of because it is too hard. But, the amazing thing is when you let go and you truly commit to it you have the opportunity to learn and grow in every moment, even the most painful ones. Which leaves you in a place of abundance for growth. Every moment and experience in life can teach you so much about yourself, if you are willing to look closely, and are unafraid of what you might discover.

Sister wisdom.
I was talking to a dear friend of mine who is in a relationship with one of the most amazing men/teacher/healers I know and we were talking about relationships and she said to me with a smile, “I know there are 100’s of things that he knows that I don’t, but I also know I am still wiser!” I totally believe this. One isn’t better than the other, they are just different. And as women we innately have a deep wisdom that is connected to something ancient, intuitive and profound. We can hold space for the other and point to the truth, and we have the ability to see what others cannot.

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Name one thing you haven’t done yet that you really want to do.
Be a mother.

What are you most grateful for?
My body. What it is, what it does, what it feels, and what it is capable of. I am in awe of its natural ability to heal, to cry, to have babies, to feel love. The body has a wisdom that the mind doesn’t. It holds so many feelings that guide us every day in the right direction. We just have to listen and trust it. Having a body is such a gift in this lifetime, it allows our soul to attract the experiences it needs to grow, heal, and evolve. When I think about that… well, it just boggles my mind.

 

*Lauren’s special morning tea:
  1. Cut a one inch to half an inch piece of ginger, cut off the outside skin, and using a fine metal grater to grate it into a pulp. Place into cup.
  2. Add a spoonful of your favorite local honey, 1/4 teaspoon of myco formulas endurance with ashwagandha powder, 1 teaspoon of pearl powder, and a pinch of cinnamon and cardamon.
  3. Add in hot water from the kettle, but only fill until half way, and stir
  4. Fill the other half with almond milk, preferably homemade, but if not then make sure you buy one that is unsweetened.
  5. Enjoy in the morning or before bed.

 

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To get a glimpse into Lauren’s daily life check out her Instagram feed.

If you’re in Los Angeles Lauren leads an incredible meditation on Sunday nights in Echo Park. More info on her beautiful blog.

All photographs taken by the lovely Claire Cottrell.

*You can try Lauren’s recipe with the Ashawagandha tincture from the shop. Tinctures are a great way to introduce herbs into your self care routine as they are easily assimilated by the body.

Comments

  • Corinna

    Hi Ashley, I am enjoying a lot reading these interviews. I always love getting to know new and inspiring people! So thanks for sharing! :-) Corina

    • ashley

      Hey Corina! I am so glad you are enjoying them. Lauren is such an amazing spirit and I am glad you feel the same way! Lots of love. xoa

  • Marie

    I remember reading Lauren’s interview on FvF last year. Her words ring so true. Growth surely comes from listening and letting go. Thanks Ashley, enjoy the holidays!

    • ashley

      Hey Marie! I loved her interview on FvF too, one of my all time favorites! I love that gem of wisdom you took from the interview.
      Wishing you wonderful holidays and thanks so much for being part of the community. xoa

  • satsuki shibuya

    loved this interview. i’ve been quietly admiring lauren’s work and reading this makes me feel a connection with her spirit, much like i did yours when i first happened upon your work. feeling inspired tonight.

    • ashley

      Hello dear, I love reading your words today. It makes me happy to know you have been following Lauren’s work, I had a feeling you two would connect on many levels. Her spirit shines right out in her words, she is such a light as are you! Thank you for sharing and being in community with us. I look forward to going on a walk with you in the New Year! Lots of love. xoa

  • leigh patterson

    so, so lovely.

    • ashley

      Hi Leigh! It’s so wonderful to hear from you and I am really happy you enjoyed Lauren’s interview. She is amazing. Wishing you a beautiful day. xoa

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