In this post, Chrissy Vaccaro of Wild Sea Wellness gives us such a gentle reminder to breathe – and we are so grateful to her for it.
You can learn more about Wild Sea Wellness and sign up for yoga classes at https://wildseawellness.com/
Who are you and what is Wild Sea Wellness?
Hi! My name is Chrissy Vaccaro and Wild Sea Wellness is my one woman wellness business. Although I collaborate with lots of folks to bring programming involving a myriad of modalities to the north shore, WSW focuses on yoga, mindfulness, meditation, as well as folk herbalism and the magickal workings of tarot and witchcraft, with a spotlight on a deep reverence for nature. I’m also a marine scientist and surfer so the sea has a special hold on me, hence the name!
What are your tools for coping with stress?
First and foremost: the breath. Our breathing is the best (and it’s also free!) tool to come into the present moment, to focus, to be mindful, and to alter our paths away from stressful situations. The breath is the foundation of many meditation and yogic practices, and honestly it is the most important part! Who cares if you can do a handstand or not; what matters is that when something that is causing you stress arises, you are able to breathe in a conscious manner that will lead you back from the edge. From there, a healthier relationship with the self, your environment, and the universe can be born.
Why do you think our culture is so stressed out?
Ugh, so many things! In our modern world, we are not often taught to breathe, to be mindful, or to be grateful for the natural world around us. We are disconnected from nature, glued to our devices, and stuck with this idea that everything that is actually totally impermanent is permanent and immutable. We cling to some ideas and objects and are averse to others, and live in constant fear of change. With that, I think comes great stress. I also think the American ideal of work, work, work, consume, consume, consume, then die, doesn’t help. I mean, we all do it. I do it too, and sometimes have to catch myself, take a breath, tell myself to chill out, and focus on what is most important in the moment. I will say that I AM stoked to hear about early childhood programs focusing on mindfulness and gratitude. There is hope for future generations!
How do you stay grounded in your daily life?
Mindfulness. I think that one word sums up anything else I do in order to stay grounded. Mindfulness activities change from day to day. It’s usually 20-30 minutes of yoga and/or meditation, but may also include walking, reading tarot cards, gardening, watering my plants, or cleaning something. It doesn’t really matter honestly, it’s about doing the activity with intention. When you include intention into your daily life, mindfulness follows, and any activity can seriously become a meditation or a way to connect you to the present, your body, and your innate wholeness with everything else. That feeling of connection can be cultivated over time and at some point, with practice, you realize how far you’ve come.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you about life, the universe, and everything?
“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s an old proverb and it’s tattooed on my leg. I take it as a reminder that even though we are all part of the oneness of everything else, just as a minute is a part of a day, there are fluctuations, and that’s ok. From those fluctuations you learn important lessons and that everything truly is impermanent, which helps bring you back into the present moment.
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