LAKOTA ELISE: "I am on my journey and accepting the wisdom of others."
Like all the women in our Woman 2 Woman campaign Lakota Elise too is a woman of many talents. Besides being a model, muse, artist, and athlete, she is also an entrepreneur.
She partnered with a movement designed to impact creative producers in India. The project aims to address the root cause of rural poverty in India by establishing an ownership-based manufacturing enterprise for the majority of women micro-entrepreneurs.
Lakota traveled to India too began the project and set up a work center in a rural area of Jaipur. She spent weeks training a small group of female artisans in her techniques and designs. Upon completion of training, production commenced. These artisans skillfully handcrafted designs by Lakkota, which you can admire on Lakkota.com
Who are you today, and what is different than ten years ago?
I am different in so many ways, but also still very much the same in others. For example, I am still just as determined, driven, and forward-moving, but today, I am more focused on the results I desire. At 26, I was full of confusion about why life had given me this path that seemed impossible to navigate. Today, I am grateful for the lessons, and the journey that life has given me and nothing seem impossible anymore. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more in touch with and aware of myself and my patterns and blockages – I can accept that I am a work in progress that will never end.
Do you have your spirit animal?
I am a huge animal lover, but don’t yet have a spirit one. I dreamt of spiders the other night. I found out they are independent, wily, and persistent. They go their way and make things happen for themselves. The spider is the spirit animal for those who want to be their boss and have the discipline to pull it off – this is very much me. I am weaving a web of the life I want to create.
What are your guilty pleasures?
If I had to feel guilty about something, it would probably be doughnuts; I love them!
How well do you know your darker side?
Very well. I am quite open about my battle with dear anxiety and depression for over 20 years and don’t try to keep it hidden, so I can’t consider it a “darker side” anymore.
In what relationship are you with it?
I am good friends with anxiety and depression these days. I know precisely when they are planning to stop by and what my reaction will be and how to deal with them. But ever since I decided to befriend them, they rarely stop by to visit me.
Whom do you let in your home?
Friends, family, lovers, and anyone’s pets.
And whom do you let close to you?
I am very open to people coming into my life. I have friendships that were rocky in the beginning but turned out to be fundamental in my evolution, and they are the people I treasure the most. I learned the most about myself through my relationships with other people.
Where or what is your happy place? How do you find peace?
I love long walks in nature, in the forest or mountains. It is where I feel the most connected to the earth and myself. Being in my creative space, beading my next treasure, also fills me with joy. I recently found that I love having earplugs in, even when I am working. It gives me complete silence, and all I can hear is myself. I find peace by connecting with my breathing in perfect silence.
How important is a connection with nature for you?
I think connecting with nature is connecting with a part of yourself, and it is essential. As kids, we used to walk for hours with our parents, in the rice paddies when we lived in the city, and from bay to bay and over the hills when we lived on an island.
How do you take care of your body, mind, and soul?
My body needs movement, so I stay active in the gym, in dance, and circus. My mind is active, continually chattering, and narrating the life, which is useful mostly, but sometimes causes anxiety, so I come back to my breathing and meditation. I prep for meditation with particular breathing and staring exercises to calm the senses before either silent meditation or chanting. My soul wants to create, whether it’s through my beading or movement. And my relationships too, my friends nourish me.
How do you take care of your skin?
I have sensitive skin and struggled with acne into my 30s. I know now that skincare must be treated from both the outside and the inside. I cut out dairy completely, and my skin transformed. I am also careful with white flour products and red wine as well, although they don’t cause acne on me, they do give me a very uneven skin tone, so my body is reacting negatively. I drink litres and litres of water every day and carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go. I love skincare products, especially K-Beauty (Korean Beauty), and experiment with new ones.
Which is your daily, monthly, or weekly ritual?
Regarding skincare - I cleanse tone and moisturize once in the morning and once in the evening. I do a clay mask once a week, a sheet mask about three times a week, and a very light peel about once a week as I don’t use exfoliant scrubs on my face. Going for facials is one of my favorite things because of the ambient of a Spa but its more like every three months.
I have daily morning rituals that prepare me for the day. I wake up and make the bed immediately, then I burn palo santo around my home, I check on my plants to see how they are doing and if they need anything, I make a vegetable juice, do 10 minutes of oil pulling and then shower before I sit down to meditate and journal, I try for about 20 minutes a day but on some days this is longer or shorter depending on how stressed out I am. The more anxious I am, the less I can sit still, so I am still working with myself to push through this and stick to my practice even when I am not feeling like it.
Which piece of wisdom from your grandparents or parents do you carry with you?
They taught me the beauty of spontaneity with their forever adventures.
Which wisdom will you deliver to the others?
I am still very much on my journey and accepting the wisdom of others.
Woman to woman. What would you advise yourself at 15 years of age?
15 year old me knew everything, so she would not listen to anyone else’s advice. I would tell her that I love her dearly.
Name a few of your favorite books?
Can I give you 4?
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk
The Psychotropic Mind by Narby, Kounen, and Ravalee
Emotional Agility by Susan David
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
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Also in Woman 2 Woman
In this interview for the Woman2Woman campaign we talk to Tina Logar Bauchmüller, founder and designer at Mila.Vert. After years of working in the IT industry, she has decided to follow her passion and started her sustainable fashion brand Mila.Vert. For her, the brand represents the story of empowerment, of following your passion and being kind to yourself and others. Tina believes that the only way to make fashion is in a sustainable way – that is why she has put sustainability at the heart of her work. She cares about how clothes are made. She believes in working with nature, not against it, and that all humans should be empowered by what they do for a living.