This week, I've invited a "born organized" person to share with us what living in order and beauty means to her. If you are not familiar with Elena Brower, and the magic she brings wherever she goes, please take a peek at her website to gain some insight on the force that is Elena.
I first met Elena back in 2002 at Virayoga, the yoga studio she co-owned at the time. After that first class I was smitten, she was patient with beginners like me and was still able to challenge and inspire her community of yogis.
We lost touch for a few years until 2008, when I reached out to her about my pinched nerves. She introduced me to another teacher at Virayoga who taught a restorative class which was so helpful and comforting to my healing.
This past January, many years later, we crossed paths again. This time due to my mother's shoulder pain - which we were told required a full replacement on her left shoulder and arthroscopic surgery on the right. I had started researching alternative methods and learned that essential oils, especially Frankincense, could reduce inflammation, but I didn't know anything about oils.
That same week I saw a social media post that Elena was offering a free bottle of Frankincense for anyone who joined her dōTERRA team that month. I didn't think twice about reaching out to her since I knew Elena to be very discerning about anything she promoted.
Needless to say, I signed up. By March, my mom's pain had reduced significantly. Three months later, she has no shoulder pain. NONE. All she did was religiously apply it to her shoulders and bottoms of her feet every night. The impact of that little Instagram post has saved my mother 18 months of rehab, we are both so grateful.
A few weeks ago, Elena held an essential oils class in her lovely home. Voyeur that I am, when her son opened up a closet that faced the room we were all sitting in, I couldn't help but notice that this was one of the most organized closets I had ever seen. Rare in the work that I do because if your closet looks like this, you don't need me ;)
It contained many of her oils, supplies for mailing samples, cookbooks and paper bags. As silly as I felt telling Elena about my spy work, I thought it would be great to hear what it means to her to have an organized and beautiful home.
1. Were you always organized?
I was always super organized. That was how I coped with a touch of solitude as a kid.
2. Most people expect to "be done" organizing and I explain that we need to adapt and modify as our lives are constantly changing. What changes did you implement when starting to work with dōTERRA?
began arranging my weeks - ne morning is this, one afternoon that. For my dōTERRA business that's crucial. And I'm giving to myself more.
3. Once my clients make peace with the objects that are no longer serving them and let go, our next step is to create systems for every closet, drawer and cabinet to maximize their storage, make their tasks efficient and keep surfaces clear. What is your favorite organized area in your home and why?
I love my Oils closet and my clothing closet... And my altars.
My altars and even closet spaces are intimate, sacred, curated spaces that make me feel calm and centered when I see them, rearrange them, or work in or near them.
4. I create a personalized system of organization around my clients' existing habits rather than trying to make them follow "my rules". What are some of your habits for dealing with the bigger issues people struggle with like paper and clothing?
Receipts get filed nightly from wallet to pile, and get labeled then so I don't have to do it and try to remember. Clothing put away nightly. Bags emptied nightly so I never carry more than I need, even though I still feel like I carry too much.
5. I have often expressed the idea of keeping organized as a practice, similar to a yoga practice. Can you talk a little about the idea of a "practice" where it's not about perfection?
My practice is now about prioritizing and surrendering perfection to contentment.
6. How would you describe your design aesthetic? How does living or working in a beautiful environment impact your life?
My design aesthetic is functional, spiritual, simple. It's important to me to live in beauty, in creative space. I set up my son for art often, almost daily, and I keep my creative work around so I don't use the excuse of setting up to stop me from creating.
Thank you Elena for your wise and thoughtful answers.