Hi, I’m Alyssa!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve relied on the restorative power of writing to cultivate clarity, grace and inner peace. Writing helps me reconnect to my soul and clear the gray thoughts clouding my mind, opening it up to the sun. So, two years ago, when I found myself in a state of constant anxiety, starting every day already drained, battling chronic illness, and feeling disconnected from the world around me, there were two things that turned it around for me: 1.) developing a regular, daily, diverse self-care practice and 2.) writing and journaling throughout the process. And thus, Sun and Soul Collective was born. An open, public journal about a journey towards wellness, self-discovery, and caring for both your mental and physical health.
A few years ago, I developed a chronic illness. It knocked me down, rocked my world and forced me to realize that my habit of staying busy and going, going, going, was no longer an option. It required me to look inward. To face a lot of unrecognized fears. And to shift my focus from surviving to healing.
I learned that slowing down provided my body and brain with the opportunity to catch up with the world around me. Suddenly, I was able to hear the thoughts that I used to be too busy to listen to. The emotions that were buried began to show themselves, and I learned not to be afraid of them. Recognizing the benefits of slowing down, I began to look forward to doing so every day. It became a comfort to know that no matter how cloudy or chaotic the world may be, I would always have myself and my self-care practice.
Wellness and self-care looks different for everyone, but for me, this restorative practice takes the shape of journaling, moving my body in gentle, intentional ways, losing myself in a good book and navigating the fine line between hard work and conscious rest. I have found joy in small things, like checking books off my To-Be-Read list and making playlists for every mood and moment. I relish in the power of a deep breath, whether it’s on a morning walk, after a long work day or as I’m climbing into bed.
I know deep in my soul that everyone can experience the power and impact of self-care in managing both their physical and mental health. In sharing my stories, I hope to encourage, welcome and support you to establish a daily self-care practice of your own.
Here are a few fast facts about me:
- I’m a Michigan native, raised on the east side of the state, but have crossed over to the dark side and now live on the west side. I have a lot of pride in my home-state and unlike many, I am a huge fan of all four seasons (yes, even the cold one).
- I’m a shamelessly obsessed dog mom. If you’re a fan of cute pups, mine shows up on my Instagram every now and then…
- Music plays a huge role in my life, in keeping me sane, de-stressing or just vibing. You can bet when I’m alone in my car, I put on a pretty good show, if I do say so myself.
- I’m a self-proclaimed Snack Queen, that “mom” friend who always has a snack in her purse. Not a day goes by where I don’t eat a spoonful of peanut butter.
- Professionally, I work for a nonprofit food bank, developing our network of agency partners. I’m always inspired by the power of community resources, which is one of my favorite parts about the job.
- Despite being ghostly pale, I love spending time outdoors in the sun. It always leaves me feeling recharged and energized.
- Speaking of the sun, you may or may not have guessed that it holds a lot of symbolism in my life. Besides symbolizing positive energy and clarity, the sun reminds me of my grandma and my aunt, who were both avid gardeners. I have a sun tattoo on my left elbow in honor of them.
- I’m so freaking glad you’re here. When I started a blog, I was afraid no one would read it (and also afraid that people would read it). So thanks for proving me wrong and challenging me to face these fears.
Let’s dive right in 🙂