self care

Escape to Two Bunch Palms

It's been a few months of staying grounded in LA. By grounded, I mean no international travel since my solo spiritual retreat to Taiwan in January. Not traveling feels pretty strange this year considering I've traveled outside of California every month for the past 2.5 years since leaving my last 9-6 pm agency job in 2016 to pursue this very fulfilling sometimes challenging career as a conscious photographer and consultant. After over two years of traveling to dreamy destinations, I've learned this year to chill and save those airline miles for more intentional trips. Also, living in the golden state offers diverse landscapes and day trip destinations that doesn't require the hassle of checking-in a luggage and flying uncomfortably for several hours. So, I was excited when my best friend invited me to escape to the desert for a weekend of wellness at Two Bunch Palms.

I first visited Two Bunch Palms over 4 years ago. Since my first visit, they have expanded to include beautiful mineral pools and wellness offerings. 

 

We arrived in Desert Hot Springs around dusk. Since we arrived in the evening, we decided to take a nighttime dip in one of the many mineral pools. Looking up above the star-filled sky while floating was pure magic. 

The next day we had a quiet tea ceremony before breakfast listening to the soundtrack of birds chirping and mineral waters running. The property includes several accommodation options, wellness spa, Essence restaurant, hiking trails, a pond with small rabbits running around and different mineral pools. As part of our stay, we could sign-up to any of the wellness activities available. We took the 'Art of Creating Abundance' class which was held in the Glass House. It involved intuitive art and wine tasting. Highly recommend to anyone who might be interested in something like this. In the evening, we attended a sound bath which was a really amazing. I slept like a baby that night.

 

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I've been very fortunate enough to experience a lot of different wellness modalities. From Ayurvedic and Holistic sessions to wellness massage in Tulum and to experiencing this amazing luxury wellness day in Taiwan. I share these trips to inspire investing in experiences that nourish your physical and spiritual. 

Two Bunch Palms Spa offerings include Ayurvedic sessions, facials, energy healing, water and massage therapy. I opted for the Desert Detox massage which left my skin and hair feeling very nourished while I floated on a calm cloud the rest of the day.

What I really loved about my experience at Two Bunch Palms is how you feel very much taken cared of at the resort. The service provided by the staff is above and beyond. We didn't even leave the resort from check-in to check-out to maximize our wellness reset.

 

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As I've mentioned many times over, being in nature practicing self care is always the best medicine. If you are seeking a reset, I highly recommend visiting Two Bunch Palms. I've linked a few of my travel essentials for this trip below.

SHOP WHAT I PACKED FOR THIS DESERT ESCAPE:

My Wellness Journey.

KristineLo

Over the years, I've shifted my perception of caring for myself as not a selfish act but an act of self-love. If you know me, you've seen my shares on my self-care rituals and wellness experiences on this VISUAL DIARY and my Instagram. In my early twenties I had digestive and general imbalances. When western medical doctors couldn't alleviate any of my symptoms, it led me to seek out holistic ways of healing. Since I started on my wellness journey over 5 years ago, I've integrated a deeper understanding of how to attain physical, spiritual and emotional wellness. I've learned so much from holistic healers, wellness experts, intuitive guides and a supportive community. I still suffer from imbalances as my Ayurvedic constitution is prone to being out of balance. Now I have a deeper compassion and patience with the process cultivated from integrating Ayurveda, practicing my morning tea + meditation ritual, reading Buddhist teachings, and doing self-care practices. I'm so grateful to receive so much insight and support. I wanted to share my personal journey in Wellness.

Although my profession is in creative content and production, you maybe surprised to know I have a Bachelors degree in Public Health. My early intention was to work for a non-profit to help solve healthcare issues and alleviate diseases at a community level. After pivoting careers from health to fashion design to finance and to my current role as photographer and consultant, I still have this desire to promote wellness. Wellness has been a trending topic the past few years. This Vogue documentary on wellness is actually a really entertaining and accurate portrayal of the wellness world in Los Angeles. For me the definition of wellness is honoring yourself through rituals, connection with your highest self, nature and community. It is deeper than doing yoga, consuming green smoothies and supplements. It's balance in physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. After diving deeper into my wellness journey last year and investing in both inexpensive and luxurious wellness experiences, the practices that truly aligns me is rooted in tradition and strengthening intuition.

My formula for wellness includes a combinations of daily rituals:

Journaling

I've been journaling for years but did not start doing it daily until someone recommended I write morning pages upon waking up. Writing out 10-15 minutes of stream of consciousness significantly improved my days. I continue to write daily and it's one of my favorite forms of self-care. In Ayurveda, my constitution is Vata Pitta, which essentially means I'm highly prone to anxiety and over-thinking. Prior to writing daily, I would journal sporadically documenting what I wanted to call in or what I was struggling with. I'm very solution focused to all my problems but writing daily gives me perspective and gratitude for just being. Daily journaling supports me in a therapeutic way and is the foundation for creating space to manifest what I'm calling in.

Tea + Meditation

My life has been transformed since integrating tea and meditation. Tea is my heart and soul medicine. It allows me to connect inward, provide clarity and strengthen my intuition. Allowing stillness through tea + meditation is also a beautiful way to start my day. My first tea experience started on a spiritual retreat in Kauai. I'm extremely lucky to have my own personal tea practice, share the way of tea with loved ones and sit in ceremony with my tea community. 

I attended my first meditation class in 2010 at Against the Stream. My boyfriend has been a student of the Dharma for over a decade and to have him as a spiritual partner and lover has helped me become a more mindful human being. Meditation was something I did not easily integrate until more recently in the past few years. It's been a journey but the more I practice meditation, the more I have clarity. The mind and ego creates delusion. To practice non-attachment with our thoughts and expectations is truly the key to end suffering. It's easier said than practiced. But I continue to practice meditation to cultivate happiness and equanimity even in discomfort.

Ayurveda

I have been integrating Ayurveda for a year now and its changed my life. Ayurveda is defined as the science of life. Although it probably seems to be trending more recently, this science is over 5,000 years old and is essentially a manual on how to live and align your life based on your prakriti or body constitution. The simplest way I can describe my journey with Ayurveda is that it's a way to align with nature. I've been able to shift my diet sleep, energy, digestive, and spiritual wellness through Ayurveda. A big part of Ayurveda is that food is medicine. I practice mindful consumption where I connect with my food. One way is by honoring those who grew and farmed the foods, packaged and delivered it. I try to cook at least one meal a day at home. When you cook a meal with positive energy and intention, you're able to fully digest and consume with intention. Sometimes I'm not able to cook at home due to work or travel, so I still honor the source of the ingredients and share gratitude for the meal before consuming it. Also best not to work or look at my phone while I'm eating. There's so many other ancient Ayurvedic self-care rituals I have learned but food was what drew me in. I also practice Abhyanga self oil massage and tongue scraping. Being consistent with your dinacharya or routine is suggested for all dosha types. My health and wellness is still a work in progress, but I've been patient with the process. Connect with nature and find harmony within is a process especially while living in this fast-paced modern world.

Community

Living in the mecca of wellness of Los Angels and working with conscious brands has given me the opportunity to try a lot of different wellness experiences. Sometimes I need extra support and thankfully I have a community of healers, wellness resources, and spiritual events in my city. I'm also very lucky to have a supportive relationship, family, friendships and community. I truly believe that we are all connected and as ancient traditions would prescribe 'connection to community is what keeps us healthy. So grateful to share my personal journey and today will be taking over The Moment's Instagram for my #MOMENTOFBEAUTY. Follow along @themoment where I share what beauty means to me and my personal self-care, wellness and spiritual practices.

Wellness Diary: Wulai, Taiwan

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After a beautiful ten day tea + zen retreat in Taiwan, I gifted myself a luxurious wellness experience to gently integrate back to the real world. As I've mentioned in my Tulum Wellness Travel Diary, gifting myself with the experience of travel is the ultimate act of self care. Traveling solo has become my annual ritual. Being able to create space for myself has been a beautiful expansive journey to strengthen my intuition, deepen my connection within and nourish my creative spirit. My intention is to share how I create this sacred space through my recent wellness experience in Taiwan.

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After researching several enticing destinations in Taiwan, I decided to explore Wulai Hot Springs for its close proximity to Taipei. I made my 24-hour adventure in Wulai worthwhile with a visit to one of the most beautiful resorts, VOLANDO URAI SPRING & SPA RESORT. I had afternoon tea and a light lunch the day I arrived and got to experience a beautiful sound ceremony by the river. Two artists performed on a platform elevated above the pool that overlooked the lush mountain side backdrop. The ceremony was performed in harmony with nature with the visual elements in synchronicity with the natural sounds of water, wind and rain. Across the river echoed sounds that also became part of the drumming ceremony. It was magical. Coming from a spiritual retreat with heightened sensitivity and a year-long journey connecting with nature, this visual art + sound experience resonated so much with my creative spirit.  

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The next day I indulged in a wellness session at Volando's Dasha Spa. I booked a massage with a hot spring bath. The spa room was so dreamy with a stunning view of Wulai river. Helen, my lovely practitioner, gave me an intro to Chinese medicine's 5 element theory (Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, Metal). I picked an essential oil based on my 'intuitive choice' (eyes closed) which my inner LA Hippie appreciated. I started with a foot soak, then relaxed in the most luxurious bath that drew water from springs. I definitely felt a little extra during this self-care session but I always practice gratitude for these special experiences I receive. I could have stayed in that room forever but I had a 14-hour flight back to Los Angeles the next day. 

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If you are traveling in Taiwan, I highly recommend visiting Volando resort in Wulai. As mentioned on my previous post, I will be consistently sharing my work, travel and wellness journey on this VISUAL DIARY with the intention to inspire conscious expansion through travel, wellness and experiences.

SHOP MY CONSCIOUS WARDROBE

Conscious Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season, I wanted to support the conscious community I’ve been so blessed to have connected with this past year. Because I’m so deeply moved by brands rooted in intention, I’ve curated a holiday gift guide to share my recommendations for conscious gifts featuring intentional products and holistic experiences.


MUSE BATH | SELF CARE

My friend and creative soul sister, Kristen Flores, created Muse Bath a conscious company offering intentional products for deepening your self-care rituals and intentional life. Her background in herbalism and media birthed this beautiful brand that I adore. Each product is handmade in Long Beach, California poured with love + intention.

My favorite Muse Bath apothecary: Gratitude Mist, Manifest Mist, New Moon Bath, & Full Moon Bath.

She has generously offered a special 10% discount for my community. Please use code ”conscious10” at MUSEBATH.com


NEAKITA | NOURISH

Hannah Mills created this conscious collection of ancient tea blends with the intention for people to slow down and experience drinking tea while bringing balance and connecting back to earth. NEAKITA ingredients are sourced organic, fair-trade and ethically wild-harvested herbs. Made in Venice, California. In honor of mother earth, a tree is planted with each NEAKITA tea purchased. Each blend was formulated with a specific healing function and my favorites: Rose, Wisdom & Grace.

She has generously offered a special 10% discount for my community with the code ”conscious10” at Neakita.com


TARA CURRAN HOLISTIC NUTRITION | NOURISH 

Tara Curran is a certified nutritionist with a loving and supportive approach to holistic health. She’s given me the guidance and self-care tools that I needed on my wellness journey through one-on-one work with her. Starting January 7th, she will lead an amazing group nutrition program that includes nutritional education, support in digestive health & balancing hormones, meal plans, and self care tools for lasting habits.

She’s generously extended a 10% code for the UNCOVERED group nutrition program. Use code “Gratitude10” here.


THERAPEUTIC SKIN COACH | SELF CARE

I’ve been going to Hayley Wood for my monthly holistic facials for almost a year now. I always look forward to her warm and supportive approach to skincare. Her sessions feel like therapy hence the ‘therapeutic’ name. Her knowledge of skincare and products is vast and each session leaves me feeling both an external and internal glow. I cannot recommend Hayley enough to everyone. Book a session on Therapeauticskincoach.com


WILD OMEN | NOURISH

Met the founder of Wild Omen at Mercado Sagrado a few years ago. She is a beautiful spirit and holds a deep reverence to nature. This is infused in her gorgeous batches of raw chocolates. She produces her intentionally made chocolates in Taos, New Mexico using organic, wild-crafted ingredients by hand and stone.

I love all her chocolates but my favorite is definitely the WILD ROSE raw chocolate. Made with cacao, wildflower honey, cacao butter, wild roses, wild nettle and sea salt. Available for purchase on WildOmen.com


Self-Compassion

9.13.17

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Self-compassion is easier said than done. It's daily work and practice I sometimes struggle with. The lessons the Universe provides is something I need on my journey. Thankfully I have the awareness and resources to work through the lessons especially on days when I fall off from doing my sacred practices 🙏🏼🌿


Post originally on @kristine.lo

Self Care Rituals

 

So honored to have shared my self care journey and rituals with GOOEY GIRL - a digital platform by Lenea Sims that promote self-care practices and feature women in wellness. We met at Workspace Oasis - a women's coworking + wellness popup I've co-created. As I consciously choose to honor myself, I have been attracting beautiful like-minded women on the same journey. Below are a visual + written excerpts from my first wellness feature.

 
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My daily self-care rituals include journaling, meditating, feeling gratitude, taking supplements and caring for my physical body through conscious consumption
 
 
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My weekly and monthly rituals include yoga, baths, spa days, Holistic facials, healing massages, Ayurvedic sessions, sitting still in nature, capturing moments through photography, tea ceremonies, moon circles, women’s gatherings, and traveling. These are all beautiful experiences I’ve been fortunate to manifest into my life.
 
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Since I’ve committed to investing in my well-being, the universe has supported this. I’m so grateful that my wellness journey aligns with my work, my passion and my community.
 

Full interview here.