Profiles of Power is a series of deep dives into the lives people who we believe embody the energies of Courage, Love, Intuition, Purpose, Opportunity, Calm and more. These badass ambassadors of a new version of spiritual wellness prove, beautifully and magically, that wellness is not one-size-fits-all, but is available and accessible to everybody who dares to harness their own one-of-a-kind strength.
Normally we look outward for our Profiles of Power, shining a spotlight on the incredible people in the wellness space that Smudge admires, works with or follows that we want to share with you and celebrate. Today as Smudge Wellness celebrates 2 years of existence, I challenged our awesome founders to let me profile their powers! It has really been a joy joining this company and getting to be in this circle of support with two people who have so much love and joy for each other. Surround yourself with people who delight you like these two delight each other (and our team!!). So allow me to reintroduce Lara Corey and Luigi Aldon who came together to bring us all Smudge Wellness. Happy Anniversary!
Morgan: So what is your power and what does your power mean to you?
Lara: The Power of Connection. To me the power of Connection is about tapping into our inner desire and ability to create meaningful bonds with other humans. It's so easy -- especially over the last year -- to lose sight of how important the very simple act of relating to each other is to healing ourselves and the world.
Luigi: For me, the power of connection is an energy that progresses through three mediums: the body, mind, and then heart -- in that order!. I first feel connected through the way my body reacts to situations, people, and even things (hello, crystals!). This is certainly true for Lara and I. I mean, we met at a spin class for crying out loud! There was this immediate sense of connection as we moved our bodies on those bikes and took care of our physical selves. Once that connection is established, I move into a sense of connection with the mind. For me, a sense of humor is such a powerful connector. I know I’ll vibe with someone if we’re laughing together and that was definitely a prominent factor in my relationship with Lara. Lastly there is the connection of hearts, an alignment of the desires and the values you have. If you can connect to yourselves and others on all these planes is a really powerful feeling. You might even start a company because of it!
Morgan: Love that and so true, you never know where those connections will take you! What is a personal story about you summoning your power?
Lara: My greatest act of summoning my power of Connection is my friendship with Luigi! We are a very unlikely pair, but from the time we met, I could tell we would share a significant bond. At first I thought that was limited to our love of going out until bartenders are shoving us out the door, but over time, I realized our mutual love of deep conversation and a commitment to self-exploration (even when it's uncomfortable) would bond us together for life.
Luigi: Throughout my life, I've found it easy to connect to others and see them as whole and complete. Only recently am I really exploring what it means to connect to myself on a deep level. I've always kind of struggled with my weight, owning my ethnicity, and telling my story out loud. And all of those things (especially that last one) have prevented me from truly connecting to others, Lara included. Part of knowing and summoning your power is asking for help and so that's exactly what I've been doing as of late. Therapy, nutrition counseling, friendship -- all for the purpose of strengthening my connection to myself so that I can also be there fully for others.
Morgan: Yessss, I think you all summoned me too!! It definitely becomes easier to show up completely for others when we have a strong practice of showing up and connecting with ourselves. I love how your powers of connection have rippled past the friendship between you. How do you use spiritual wellness in your everyday life to amplify your power?
Lara: To me spiritual wellness is all about discovering and nurturing connections -- the bond we have with ourselves, with others, and with the universe. So cultivating my power of Connection is at the heart of everything I do in my practice. I tend to get a little anxious on Sundays (I know I'm not alone on that!) -- one thing that helps get me in a better frame of mind is taking some time during the evening to do a meditation centered on gratitude. I find that when I am focused on what I am grateful for, I am reminded of all the wonderful people in my life and how much joy and contentment they bring to my life. It makes me worry less about all this other stuff that is ultimately not that important.
Luigi: I actually look at wellness a lot like I do skincare. Part of having a deep connection to yourself is knowing what you need on any given day. Sometimes your spirit (like your skin) is dry and needs nourishment which can come in the form of tequila, long walks, meeting with an amazing astrologer or intuitive. Sometimes it's dirty and you need things like smudging, and crystal healing. Sometimes it needs a gentle massage via meditation or breathwork. Everyday, I check in with myself and do what i need to do to keep that spirit (again, like your skin) glowing and healthy.
Morgan: Laughing at you starting with tequila because A. I love tequila but also B. it’s so real and relatable, I think so often we get in wellness spaces and act like we aren’t flawed humans too. Sometimes I need a shot, sometimes I need a juice - depends on the day! So what would you say to your customers on this anniversary?
Lara: I can't believe Smudge is two years old! It really does feel like everything comes full circle (pun intended). During our initial brainstorming sessions on what this company was going to be about, we drew something called the "Connection Wheel" -- it visually described how we talked about spiritual wellness. And while so much has evolved since we drew that picture, I'm very proud that we have stayed true to that initial vision and to the central role of Connection plays in all our well-being. Also, I love building this company with Luigi, bringing new badasses to our team (looking at you Morgan and Katie), and looking to the future with optimism and resolve.
Luigi: Yes, come hang with us and celebrate our 2 year anniversary by attending Smudge Session II!
Morgan: Loving all these Smudge sessions and cannot wait to do even more of them. Something we’ve talked about internally that we all support is how does Smudge promote diversity in wellness and avoid spiritual bypass?
Lara: To create diversity and inclusivity in wellness requires that we all summon our power of Connection. While we believe at Smudge that wellness is deeply personal and we are each unique, we also believe that wellness is an impossible goal unless we are all searching for those threads of commonality among us and doing what we can to practice empathy and commitment to learn from one another. But in more concrete terms? Take down white supremacy and the patriarchy by building a wellness company that celebrates and empowers women, the LGBTQ community, and persons of color!
Luigi: I was just writing a post today where I said Smudge's mission is to dismantle white supremacy, one crystal at a time. I think that we started Smudge because we wanted people to feel that they were seen and heard as they haven't been so far by the racist and oppressive systems that are in place today. That continues to be our ethos and while we want people to manifest shit, it also means there's some real work to be done.
Morgan: Yes definitely can’t wait to take it all down with crystals, tarots and connection. Connection is such an important factor in doing the real work. So last but not least, we are in the business of tools to bring wellness in reach for us all. What are a few of your favorite well products?
Lara: My house is full of wellness products, but the ones that are my go-to's: crystal spheres (which I love for mindfulness and to have near me during workouts), intention decks (I love our Modern Witch tarot deck), and our Core Value Deck (whenever I need to check in with myself on my guiding principles).