If you would have told me a five years ago that I would own and operate a successful skincare line + yoga studio, I would have laughed. That reality seemed so far fetched to me at the time. I was a rule follower, I checked all the boxes my family and society had for me. My existence was full of obligations which meant me spending every ounce of my energy doing for others. I was exhausted. I knew there had to be more to life.
THE WAKEUP CALL
It all came to a head when my doctor recommended a brain surgery as a remedy to control my daily migraines. Despite me working out on a regular basis, I was 30+ lbs overweight, my anxiety level was through the roof and thanks to the combined stress of the relentless demands of parenthood, a bad marriage and corporate America, I was in a constant state of fight or flight. I was at my breaking point.
Have you ever heard the saying, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear"? That is exactly what happened here. After I left a doctors appointment to schedule the surgery, I headed to the gym for my afternoon workout. While in the locker room, an interview on the television behind me caught my attention. It was Russell Simmons promoting his new book, "The Happy Vegan: A Guide to Living a Long Healthy, and Successful Life". Yes, ya'll, the hip hop mogul himself has transformed into a yogi and a vegan. I was intrigued. I immediately downloaded the book and absorbed every word like my life depended on it, and it did. It was an easy read that was full of information that I had never been exposed to about nutrition. That same day, I adopted a plant-based diet.
Zoom forward 3 weeks, I went back to the doctor to prep for surgery. After running my blood work he noticed that all of my vitals had normalized, I'd lost a significant amount of weight, and I was no longer having those migraines. He stated, whatever you're doing, keep doing it because you don't need that surgery anymore". He laughed while noting "vegan" on my chart. Remember, our western medical practitioners only receive about 1 week of nutritional training. He had no idea that eating foods that have a direct relationship to the sun plays a major role in healing every cell in your body. He was shocked that only eating plants made such drastic improvements to my overall health in such a short time.
Changing my diet not only helped me physically, it also helped me mentally. I started to assess every aspect of my life to figure out how to make it better. I asked myself "If I didn't have to worry about money, and all the expectations my family and society has for me, what would I do"? It took me awhile to figure out, but I pivoted all my negative thoughts to positive, and created powerful affirmations that manifested the life I live today. I finally made a decision that my happiness will no longer be compromised. I started practicing yoga daily, maintained a plant-based diet, got a divorce, changed jobs, and starting releasing all things and behaviors that no longer served me. This is critical. A positive mindset is the most important part of activating a series of events that will create your new life. All change starts with YOU. Words are power, please choose them wisely.
THE HEALING PROCESS
I found yoga at a very volatile time in my life. In the midst of all of the major life changes I was making, I also had to acknowledge and heal my childhood trauma. As a child I suffered physical, sexual, and emotional abuse which conditioned me to accept domestic abuse as an adult. I now realized that from birth I was devalued, resulting in so many bad decisions that led me to my breaking point.
My journey to healing continues on my yoga mat. Yoga is truly transformational, it was the only practice that allowed me to be in the present moment and feel balanced. Yoga allowed me to quiet my mind. Practice breath work that helps the lungs and brain to heal. Stretch and move my body in ways that allow for my joints and ligaments to get the proper lubricants that is needed. And giving me the space to have inspired thoughts to create and change the trajectory of my past to a much more positive future.
MY INSPIRED PATH
I started Ensō Apothecary in 2017 after searching for an affordable 100% natural skincare option. After adopting a plant based diet, I started to pay attention to what I was putting on my skin, our largest organ. It has since evolved into a beautiful concept that helps people heal holistically helping to end the cycle of abuse and trauma by teaching self-love and self-care.
Ensō offers a safe space for people to disconnect and heal. An inclusive space that offers vegan skincare, donation based yoga, and will soon incorporate resources for plant-based nutrition. Ensō has become a lifestyle brand that is passionate about optimizing your self-care routine and helping you become your best version.
I left corporate America in January 2019 to focus on building Ensō full-time, I then worked trade shows and local markets for 8 months. In October 2019 we moved into our store location in Fort Worth, TX, launched our Yoga program shortly after, partnered with 15+ retailers and counting, and are currently renovating the space and planning a Grand Opening in the very near future. Who knew all of this peace and success was on the other side of my darkness?
My new existence was birth at one of the most difficult times in my life. My hope is that my story inspires you to never get stuck in fear and complacency. Trust your intuition, follow your heart, and love yourself more and more everyday. Trust the journey.
More about my journey will be posted soon. Stay tuned.
Tamara Johnson is the owner and founder of Ensō Apothecary. Her passion is to help others become their best version through holistic self care.
Photographer is Angela Germany: https://angelagermanyphotography.pixieset.com