Why I’m Leaving New York

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

In the summer of 2005, I moved to New York City. I missed my graduation from Oberlin College to perform with the Opera Orchestra of New York, and stayed with a host on Central Park West, overlooking the Museum of Natural History. I found my very first New York apartment during that stay, and fell in love with this beautiful city and all it had to offer. Or so I thought.

The 10 years that I’ve spent here have been a journey in self-discovery. The hustle and noise of lower Manhattan proved to be way too crazy for my delicate sensibilities, and I spent a good part of those first few years feeling sick, disconnected, and lost. A move to Brooklyn in 2007 changed all that. I found myself a gorgeous, quiet, tree-lined street in Carroll Gardens, with loads of neighborhood charm and exactly the antidote to dirty concrete jungle that I needed. And yet, things weren’t quite ideal.

I gradually felt more and more disconnected from the career I had moved here to partake in.  I loved singing, yes. But I hated auditioning, lacked the passion and self-discipline to spend hours practicing, and gradually started admitting to myself that this was not a career for dabblers, or those who “liked it alright.” To pursue and succeed in a career in the crazy world of opera, you had to love it, live and breathe it.  And I realized that wasn’t me.

I realized that, like opera, to truly thrive in this city, you have to LOVE it, live and breathe it.  You have to feel energized and excited by this town.  And that just wasn’t me.

2010 brought with it many amazing changes.  I met my soulmate and discovered my true calling in holistic health and wellness.  I went back to school for nutrition, and finally felt like my passions, talents, expertise, and joy were aligning in one clear path.  It was beautiful.

But still, a part of me knew that just like opera was not my true calling, New York was not my true home.  I longed for the nature, space, and expansiveness that I grew up with.  I felt overwhelmed by going into the city, uninspired by the crowds and the “energy.”  With every weekend trip to the country or vacation to some beautiful beachy land, my heart sang, and I dreaded returning.  I realized that, like opera, to truly thrive in this city, you have to LOVE it, live and breathe it.  You have to feel energized and excited by this town.  And that just wasn’t me.

I remember telling my now-husband on one of our first dates that I had my heart set on leaving New York. He didn’t share my feelings about the city, but agreed that he, too, could see himself leaving in 5 or 6 years. At the time, that felt like an eternity.  But, like I said, I had just found my soulmate in him, and his work was here (for now) — I figured I could be patient.Natasha-and-Jonathan

In my holistic health and transformational coaching work with clients, we spend a lot of time on identifying what you really want in your life, and creating a clear cut path to getting there.  Throughout our work together, my clients quit jobs that aren’t serving them anymore, end relationships that aren’t making them happy, and start living their dream lives. Over the years, many of my clients have identified that New York just isn’t working for them — that living the healthy, balanced, happy, and calm life that they crave just isn’t possible in this crazy town.  Many of them have moved to their dream cities or started the process of discovering their ideal places to live.

I could, of course, relate to how my clients felt completely.  I was so thrilled for them to be taking these huge life steps, and I knew my time would eventually come too.  And yet, feeling stuck in a city that I had outgrown (a funny thought — outgrowing New York City) left me with the sense that I wasn’t truly living my message, that there was something disingenuous about not practicing what I preached.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I’ve created a lovely life for myself here. I have a business I adore, ample time for self-care, amazing friends, a beautiful little apartment that I share with my two favorite creatures in the world (my husband and Pom).  But let’s face it, life in New York is hard.  Simple aspects of everyday life here — like the (often nasty) subway, the brutally cold winters (of late) and sweltering hot summers, the go-go-go attitude everyone seems to embody — not only rubbed me the wrong way, but seemed to paralyze me.  I found myself building an entire life around avoiding these aspects of the New York experience, and that was no way to live.

I found myself building an entire life around avoiding aspects of the New York experience, and that was no way to live.

As I knew they would, those 5 years were coming to an close, and I could see an end in site. Although the plan had always been an eventual move to San Francisco (where my best friend lives, and the epicenter for my husband’s line of work), it was a trip to Southern California (Ojai and Santa Monica) that completely won us over. We fell in love with tree-lined Montana Avenue, the farmer’s markets seemingly on every corner, the mountains peeking out in the distance, and the sweeter, slower way of living everyone took pride in.  No one was boasting about how little sleep they got last night, or how much work they had to do — people were bragging about the amazing hike they took, or the wave they rode.  People seemed healthier and definitely happier. There was an organic juice bar on every block, and it seemed like every single restaurant we went to had amazing vegetarian, farm-t0-table deliciousness to offer.  And the ocean.. That beautiful, calming, soothing, powerful ocean.  Just knowing it was there, a mere 10 minutes away, provided such comfort and joy.

We had found our home.

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I’m not going to lie, it’s a scary thing to leave everything and everyone we know and move out to a new city, with no family, and just a couple of friends nearby.  But I feel a degree of certainty about this move I’ve only experienced on two other occasions in my life: when I met my now-husband, and when I launched my business.

I am proud to finally be creating exactly the life I have been craving. Without any compromises, excuses, or  more reasons to wait.  We only live once, and no one is going to make our lives better for us. We have to do that ourselves.  Here we go…


 

Want some support in creating the life you crave?

Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. starts March 15th!

Free webinar: Eat for Less Stress!

eat-for-less-stress-webinar

With all the work we do to manage our stress with exercise, yoga, meditation, we’re woefully unaware of the effect that the foods we eat have on our anxiety and overwhelm.  With just a few simple tweaks to your eating, you can make a huge difference in your emotional balance!

Sign up for my free webinar on Eating for Less Stress next week, with an intro by the incomparable Buddhist psychologist and life coach, Vanessa Scotto to learn:

  • What foods actually increase stress, overwhelm, and anxiety
  • What foods create more create more calm, balance, and ease in your day!
  • The 3 most important supplements for feeling your best, physically and emotionally

Sign up at: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB54D687814D3C

What’s Your Ayurvedic Type?

Your Ayurvedic type, or dosha, is a super powerful tool to have in your healthy lifestyle arsenal.  It reveals what foods and self-care practices are going to help you feel amazing, slender, energized, and radiant, and which may be causing you to gain weight, feel sick and sluggish, and experience of physical and emotional imbalance.

Take this quiz to find your dosha, and learn a few simple steps you can take to bring your body and mind into balance.


This quiz will take about 5-7 minutes to complete.

Ready to Start?

Physical Profile

Frame:

Physical Profile

Weight:

Physical Profile

Hair color:

Physical Profile

Hair texture:

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Complexion:

Physical Profile

Skin temperature:

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Veins and tendons:

Physical Profile

Joints:

Physical Profile

Eyes:

Physical Profile

Whites of eyes:

Physical Profile

Teeth size:

Physical Profile

Digestion and elimination:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Mental Activity:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Memory:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Concentration:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Thoughts:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Learning ability:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Sleep:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Dreams:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Speech:

Mental Profile
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Voice:

Behavioral Profile

Eating speed:

Behavioral Profile

Hunger level:

Behavioral Profile

Food and drink preferences:

Behavioral Profile

Weather preference:

Behavioral Profile

Achieving goals:

Behavioral Profile

Works best:

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Spending habits:

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Giving donations:

Behavioral Profile

Relationships:

Behavioral Profile

Sex drive:

Behavioral Profile

Friendships:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Moods:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Temperament:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Reaction to stress:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Most sensitive to:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

When threatened:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

When feeling hurt:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Relationship with partner:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Express affection:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Confidence level:

Emotional Profile:
Answer according to how you have felt and acted most of your life, or at least in the past few years.

Emotional trauma:

Fitness Profile

Tolerance for high-intensity exercise:

Fitness Profile

Speed:

Fitness Profile

Endurance:

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Strength:

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Muscle tone:

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Walking speed:

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Running style:

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Reaction time:

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Competitiveness:

Are you self-sabotaging?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the phenomenon of self-sabotage…

You know, things are going great: you’re eating well, taking care of yourself, you’ve finally gotten into a rhythm… and then, slowly, things start to slide.  You start “rewarding” yourself for being so good by more dinners out ordering foods you normally would avoid.  You start skipping the gym or your favorite yoga classes, because, you know, you’ve just been so good all week!

And before you know it, you’re back to feeling totally off your game, contemplating doing another cleanse to “get back on track.”

This cycle totally sucks!  But luckily, it’s also totally avoidable.

Mineral Beauty That’s EPIC

Epic Mineral Beauty

Finding high quality, effective, and natural makeup can definitely be a challenge.  We have our few favorite brands that we resort to, and we’re always thrilled to discover a new product line to add to our mix, especially since the availability of high quality, natural products pretty much dictates what we do and do not use in our beauty routines!

Because of this, we had all but given up on using mineral makeup over the last year or two. Discovering safe mineral products that were free of skin irritants and toxic ingredients like mica, talc, and titanium dioxide had proven to be all but impossible! So you can imagine how pumped we were to discover Epic Mineral Beauty, a beautiful line of mineral makeup products that is free of literally every questionable ingredient on our list!

To boot, the mineral foundations, blushes and bronzers come in a variety of lovely hues to perfectly match your skintone, and the eyeshadows come in some luscious must-have basic tones. We found that our skin looked beautiful, natural, and clean, with buildable coverage that lasted.  Plus, no irritation, clogged pores, breakouts or skin drama whatsoever!

To find your perfect hues, order the sample sizes.


 

Enter our Epic Mineral Beauty Giveaway!

You’ll get one full-size foundation and one full-size mineral veil — an almost $60 value!

TO ENTER:

  1. Click here to sign up for our email list (don’t worry, we’ll never hound you with lots of emails!)
  2. Leave a comment below letting us know you signed up!

 

Organic Beauty Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Organic-Beauty-Holiday-Gift-Guide

It’s that beautiful, festive time of year again!  We at The Organic Beauty LOVE gifting mindfully, giving our loved ones goodies that help them feel gorgeous, vibrant, and healthy.  Join the healthy giving party with our top picks for everyone on your list!

Give your skin a dose of healing energy!

The healing and balancing power of gemstones and crystals has long been a part of holistic and alternative practices.  From placing them on specific parts of the body, to using them as meditative tools, to more esoteric practices, gemstones are rife with potent spiritual and healing energy.  So we got really excited to see that this energy is being harnessed into wonderful holistic, organic skincare products by Gemstone Organic!

How to hold onto your healthy habits over the holidays!

By: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 1 No tags Permalink 0

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Often times we treat the holidays like a hiatus from our healthy lives — we eat foods we would normally avoid, we slack on exercise, we drink too much and sleep too late.  The month and a half between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (or for some people, the two months starting on Halloween) become a pitfall that we can spend the first several months of our new year paying for.  We feel guilty about the choices we made, criticize ourselves for that holiday weight gain, and have a hell of a time getting “back on track.”

Honestly, the only way to avoid this annual drama is to not let ourselves get off track to begin with!  Here’s the thing with being truly healthy:  it’s a way of being, permanently, not just something you slip in and out of as your mood suits you.  And the holidays actually provide a really great time to put this concept into practice.

Sticking to your healthy habits over the holidays takes some commitment and mindfulness, for sure.  But when you wake up on January 1st feeling energized, gorgeous, and beyond excited for the year ahead, I promise you, you’ll thank yourself for choosing your highest good over that fourth piece of peppermint bark!

Commit to these 5 healthy habits (with some holiday modifications), and you’ll be good to go!

Sulfate-Free Argan Oil Haircare

Maple Holistics on The Organic Beauty

“Oh my god, Natasha, enough with the argan oil!”

Yes, yes, I hear you.. But when you find a beauty ingredient that is truly obsession worthy, it’s hard to shut up about it!  We’ve been bringing you our favorite argan oil products for a few months now, but this is totally new: argan oil-based shampoo and conditioner!

We’ve long been on the sulfate-free bandwagon for haircare.  I don’t remember the last time I used a shampoo that actually lathered.  (Lathering is for sissies!)  So we’re super excited to find natural, sulfate-free haircare products that feature our number one favorite beauty ingredient.

From the Weekend: Thanksgiving

By: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

Organic Beauty Thanksgiving

We spent the holiday week celebrating with my family in Minneapolis.  We brined a killer organic, free-range turkey (pretty much the best turkey ever had, ever).  We ate delicious food, laughed, and played.  It was a beautiful week.

In terms of healthy eating, I employed my tried and true strategy of trying a little of everything without loading up on the bad stuff.  I started with veggies and Russian zakuski (small plates), so I could just have a bit of the yummy turkey and delectable desserts. No stomach aches, no guilt, and no drama!  I also made sure to focus on the real focus of this beautiful holiday — family and celebration (not stuffing my face!).

How did your Thanksgiving go? And how do you feel in the aftermath? I’d love to hear your experience!

Photo via my Instagram.