Taking care of yourself goes beyond a proper sleeping schedule or a healthy diet. Bringing self-care rituals to the next level is as unique as you can possibly imagine. In this episode, Amy Galper speaks with Jennifer Goldman from Essential Rose, a beautiful brand of Mood Beauty products that inspires self-care rituals. They talk about how self-care is no longer a luxury but a necessity, especially during the pandemic. Jenn also shares some simple and effective exercises that can motivate you to pay attention to your wellbeing in a more profound way.
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Jennifer Goldman: Why Self-Care Rituals Are A Must For Everyone
I’m excited to introduce you to Jennifer Goldman. Jennifer is the founder and CEO of Essential Rose. The first mood enhancing beauty brand, selling skincare and mood oils. She is a certified aroma therapist, a yoga teacher, and a mindfulness coach who teaches and inspires self-care rituals. I am excited to have Jennifer here because I met her when I first opened my school, the New York Institute of Aroma Therapy back in, 2014, it was a long time ago. We met there over our love of essential oils and aroma therapy. Jennifer was beginning on this path of hers and it’s been such a pleasure to see her grow and inspire so many people on her journey. I’m thrilled to have her here to talk about what she does, to talk about essential oils, to talk about aromas and how they affect our mood and our psyche and our overall wellbeing, which by the way, is one of my favorite topics. I’m super excited to dig in with her.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m also excited because my work with you through the institute was so transformative, not only for my business, but for me personally, in my own healing. I’m happy to be here talking about this.
Jennifer, I’d love to talk about how your journey all started and how your work all started because as I’ve been following you since you graduated from the institute and started your brand, Essential Rose, I’ve been so amazed by the confidence in power and the way that you’ve been addressing mental health and addition with aroma and olfaction and the importance of that as far as balancing our wellness and understanding that. I’d love for everyone to hear a little bit more about your story and what led you on this journey.
I was a teen who was struggling, not unlike most teens, and I had low self-esteem. I had strong anxiety and depressive tendencies, and I had no healthy coping mechanisms. I had no skills, and my parents made a pretty drastic decision to orchestrate a wilderness intervention. I was ripped out of my bed in the middle of the night when I was a sixteen year old girl in the middle of high school and dropped off to live in the wilderness and do therapy and look at myself and my behaviors. From there, I was in the wilderness for ten weeks. From there, I went to what was called a therapeutic boarding school. This was a mashup of traditional academia and therapy and emotional regulation and all of this stuff. I say that I got a PhD in emotional intelligence, not from a book, but from real life experience.
This whole journey of looking within and examining myself got me to a place where I realized I needed skills and tools to cope with stress and to love myself on a daily basis. This led me to a whole journey and to natural healing and plants and aroma therapy. You go on mindfulness because I was seeking. I wanted things that I could use and resort to on a daily basis to be in balance and be empowered and thrive. That’s the inspiration, my own personal journey, healing, overcoming, going from survival to thriving is what caused me to create this line of uniquely mood enhancing skincare and beauty, because I want other women of all ages, all places in their lives to have tools on hand and skills to come into that place of self-care and self-love no matter what’s going on around them. That’s the whole inspiration and we need it more than ever.
A hundred percent. Especially right during this whole pandemic and COVID, and now we’re entering, we’re recording this now in the fall. We’re entering a new season where there’s all sorts of stressors between political stress and health stress and financial stress. We’re all navigating so much, children going back to school. We focus on what self-care means and why that’s so important. Could you talk about that a bit, because I remember that’s something that you have been embracing from the beginning, and it was so interesting because as you were beginning your journey, I remember all those years ago, self-care wasn’t that trendy buzzword that it soon became, you started seeing it in Allure magazine or Cosmo or something, it was different. It suddenly became this movement in a way. Could you talk a bit about how you define self-care and why, especially that’s something that we all need to practice?
For me, self-care, first of all, there’s no one size fits all with self-care. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s an individual relationship that you have with yourself, where you take time every single day to attune to your needs, your desires, where you’re at emotionally, physically, spiritually, and you give to yourself. It’s an authentic relationship that you have and it requires self-awareness, it’s not scrolling through Instagram and doing the latest trend. Maybe that’s part of it, because there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s more than that. It’s becoming your biggest advocate, your biggest caretaker, and making sure that you are putting back into yourself, you’re giving back to yourself as much as you’re putting out. For me, self-care is a morning thing. It’s a daily thing, but it starts in the morning I get up, making my bed is self-care, it’s simple.
It sounds so silly, but that’s a win. That’s the first win of the day. I make my tea. I sit in my chair. I grabbed my essential oils. I meditate. I sit and I’m silent because for someone who has a chemical imbalances and anxiety and depressive tendencies, I need to be quiet, that’s my medicine. I sit, I set intentions. I journal throughout my day, when I get overwhelmed, I take breaks, I go outside, I go on walks, I’m in the middle of Manhattan and I go to a tree if I can find one. That’s for me. I eat chocolate. I do what I need to do, but it starts with that tuning in and that self-awareness and listening what is it that I need today in this moment because it shifts.There's no one-size-fits-all with self-care. There's no right or wrong way to do it. Click To Tweet
What would you say? What would be a good actionable, easy tip for someone who has, or struggles with that first step, with that first step of connecting to that awareness? In a weird way, that’s the hardest part, to be still and listen and make that connection. There’s been times in my life where that moment felt insurmountable, how do I even get there? What are some tips to give someone who is needing and wanting to integrate this type of practice, but they don’t know how to begin? They don’t know what it means to connect with their authentic self or be quiet. What would you recommend?
I’d recommend a couple of things. First of all, we want to leave all expectations of the door. You don’t have to sit like a monk for 30 minutes without coaching. You don’t have to be on a juice diet. We can start small. It can be one minute. You put on your phone and alarm for one minute and you close your eyes, and you start there and what’s going to happen is you’re going to feel good from that one minute. You’re going to want to maybe do two minutes the next day, or maybe it’s the next week. You start small, you leave your expectations at the door and you get humble with yourself. You say, I’m on a journey. There is no perfection. This is a journey and I’m starting from this point, whether it’s one minute, 30 seconds and I’m building from there.
That’s the first thing. The second thing is you want to set yourself up for success. Maybe that means leaving on your nightstand your essential oils, or pre-making a tea blend or putting a teabag in the cup so that the next morning, all you have to do is pour the water on it or having your space set up like, I’m looking at my space. There’s a cushion, there’s a chair. There’s my Mala beads, my mood mists, my sage, it’s all set up. All I have to do is go there and sit. I set myself up for success because I know that if there’s a lot of things I have to do, there will be this resistance.
If you don’t want to work out, maybe you would leave your shoes out by the door and you’d have your outfit picked out the night before so that when you wake up, you’re ready to go. This is the same thing. You want to reward yourself, if your goal is to meditate for one minute and you do that, then you better reward yourself. You better do something that feels good. That is indulgent because indulgence is self-care. The more that you reward yourself for these behaviors, the more likely you are to do it and it becomes a habit. That’s initially what I would say. I think it’s individual, but that’s what comes off the top of my head.
Those are excellent tips, Jennifer, excellent and inspiring. I think it feels so much less daunting that way when we know we can start out with these little baby steps and I agree that over time, you’ll be amazed how those little things then do become a habit. After a while, that habit soon becomes your nature. I think that this slow journey and transformation evolves in that way. You mentioned a couple of times, as you were talking about this, having your essential oils nearby or having them nearby. Could you talk a little bit more about what it is about essential oils that you think is such a key component of this practice of self-care?
Firstly, what I learned from you in therapy certification, that’s how the essential oils are changing the chemistry of your brain. |They’re balancing the limbic system. They’re regulating the nervous system. They’re having a physical, tangible impact that I believe enhances any a self-care practice. When you’re sitting to meditate, that’s also changing the chemistry of your brain. It’s building the prefrontal cortex, it’s doing a bunch of different things. When you can put an essential oil on while you’re doing that, it’s the synergy like when you’re making an essential oil blend, it’s the synergy of the plants, the synergy of the healing practices work together to provide an even deeper self-care experience. That’s the first thing. The second thing is they’re tangible, they’re physical. You pick them up. They’re real. The act of putting it on is so nourishing, it’s loving, it’s caring.
I think for people that maybe meditation is hard or even journaling is hard, or maybe these more abstract mind things are hard having a physical product that you can drop on. You don’t even have to think about makes it effortless and you can keep them in your purse, in your pocket, in your car, at your desk, wherever you are and you use them. I have a bar. I got this bar from Westtown. Most people put whiskey on this bar. Mine’s in the essential oil bar. The top is all essential oils, and the bottom is all teas. I think it’s amazing. It’s hilarious too, because I’m setting myself up for success. I look at the bar, I’m feeling stressed, I go to that bar, I take the oil, I put it on. I have an oil with me right now that I’m using. It’s this physical, tangible thing that we can use, that creates ritual, that changes the chemistry of the brain and enhances whatever it is that we are doing and whatever mood it is that we want to feel.
You brought up a couple of things that I’d love to go dig in a little deeper on, number one, let’s talk about tea a bit, because I know that is another top favorite topic of yours. When I met you and when you were starting Essential Rose, you had teas as well and tea rituals and tea care rituals that you were doing with the brand. What I love about what you were doing in those early stages, and obviously what you continue to do in your current practice and work that you do is integrating this all sensory experience with scent and that we’re getting that relationship to the plant, not only through our olfactory connection through scent, but also through teeth, through taste, through smell, through those other things. Could you talk a bit about where you see that connection between tea blending, central oil blending and how they all work together?Through your rituals, you become mindful and present, allowing you to infuse an action with an intention. Click To Tweet
I love tea. I still love tea, tea for me is a non-negotiable, it’s a daily ritual. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up after I make my bed. I have my teapot. I’m drinking it all day. The most obvious connection is we’re dealing with plants. Tea is Camilia Sinensis, any tea, red, black, white, green, it’s all this one plant. The only difference in the colors is how long it takes to dry and the fermentation process. For me, plants, whether it’s tea, essential oils, any other kinds of herbs, they are intelligent and they’re beautiful to work with. They’re so healing. That’s what got me so interested in this initially is I realized there are things that grow that want to help us that have these benefits.
I want to know everything about that. I want to understand that I became fascinated with that concept. Drinking tea like putting on an essential oil, these are rituals. For me, ritual simply means infusing action with intention. What happens when you do a ritual is you become mindful because when you infuse an action with an intention, you’re brought to the present moment. For me, that is the most powerful antidote to anxiety or depression. Anxiety takes you into the future. Depression takes you into the past. Ritual takes you into the now. For me, tea does it, essential oils do it, meditation dance movement, there’s so many things that do it. Engaging the senses is a way to become mindful and land in the present moment and that is healing.
Beautifully said, Jennifer. When we’re looking at essential oils, let’s talk about them specifically. Are there a few these days I saw you picked up an oil with you, I know, for me, I know I’ve been working with essential oils now over twenty years that they changed for me weekly, daily, that what I might have smelled last week will smell different this week because I’m in a different moment in time, I’m in a different present state and it speaks to me and I hear it differently. Curious for you, are there a handful of oils or what’s in your bag that you’re reaching towards and why?
I never use one oil. I blend on my skin and I think it’s funny to watch because I literally pour them all over. They’re good for your skin. I’m using ones that are good for your skin. Bergamot, I love because it’s so uplifting, it’s so anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and brightening and beautiful. I always remember from your class, when you talk about the morphology of the oils and associating them with where they actually come from the qualities of that. It’s citrus, you see this beautiful, bright, juicy citrus, and that those are the emotional qualities that you’re taking in. Bergamot, I have on the desk, grapefruit, rose geranium. I know that was one of your favorites for a time. I remember you sharing that rose geranium, soothing and balancing to the hormones.
I love it. It’s feminine, Lang Lang, also ant depressive. Those are the ones that I’m using, and I will pour them on. I poured them onto my wrists. I take them to my temples. I go to the crown of my head, even go to my belly and I on my chest. I want to smell them. I want to smell them all day, that’s the way that I do it. The reasons why, for me personally, I’m looking for things that are anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, uplifting, brightening, hormonally balancing.
When you’re smelling an essential oil, connecting with it on that sense, what are you paying attention to? Let’s say there’s someone who is inspired by what we’re talking about and they want to start smelling an oil and seeing how that makes them feel and what that is offering them. We both know that scent is a direct connection to our unconscious. How can we guide someone in understanding how they smell, as you know, certainly in America and in western culture in general, our sense of smell is always, there’s all these attempts through marketing and through all sorts of things to dull it like, We don’t want to smell, we don’t want to engage it. That’s something that we want to for breeze it so there’s no aroma.
It’s terrible, but that’s what the culture is pushing, is that we somehow have to in exorcise or something, our nose and yet we both know that our nose is the key, I think, and I believe this from experience, is the key to our overall wellbeing. What would you say to someone who’s getting started smelling oils? What would be something they would do to connect with it?
I love what we did in your course. We passed around oils, we closed our eyes and we inhaled them and felt where we felt it in the body. Did we see anything? Did we have any sensation? We use the oils as a mindfulness experience. I would say that’s the first place, it’s pickup an oil and I would start again. You could do it a couple of ways, either use something common like lavender or rose or orange that you don’t have to think about it and it’s not effortful to practice that experience of smelling it. Or you could do some research and put in a way you want to feel and see what comes up. I would say either one of those approaches, but then when you actually have the oil, even if it’s one minute, closing your eyes, putting it on, putting it onto your wrist, right under your nose, on your chest, taking a deep breath and being present with it, seeing where it resonates in the body what are the qualities of it and I think that’s how you come to know it over time.Anxiety takes you into the future. Depression takes you into the past. Ritual takes you into the now. Click To Tweet
Tell me a little bit more about Essential Rose and your products and how all of what we’ve been talking about has been manifested through this beautifully exquisite line and brand that you’ve put together.
Thank you so much. Essential Rose is a bottled self-care, and it was a response to my own journey of healing through plant remedies and wanting to package that into tools for other women. It’s aroma therapy skincare, essential oils skincare, and we have a face oil, body oil, mood face toners, mood oil perfumes and exfoliants. Each of the blends are incredible for the skin, are nourishing and regenerative and replenishing and soothing and amazing for the mind, the emotions, well-being to evoke mindfulness. I saw this gap in a space and the beauty space, even brands that are using essential oils, they’re not talking about mood. They’re not talking about it as a mood forward. It’s an afterthought, but Essential Rose is a mood enhancing skincare line because I believe that beauty is a feeling and it’s a lifestyle and beauty and wellness are one. When you feel good or you take care of yourself, when you are positive, then you shine, you radiate a new glow. That’s what the line is about. They smell amazing. They feel amazing. I use what I learned in your course to make safe and effective blends. They’re lovable for that reason because the whole point is that you have a pleasant experience and uplifting experience as you’re using them.
How can we find you? I know you have a website. I know with COVID and everything, a lot of retailers have curtailed and pushed things all online. There’s not a lot of in store experience that we’re able to have, but where can we find you online? Where can people find your products and order them and get them?
You can go to EssentialRoseLife.com. You can find us on social media @essentialroselife. If you have any questions or comments or anything, you can send me a DM, you can contact us through the website, and I will personally answer you.
You have a small operation, but a huge heart and a big impact. I think that’s all that matters. If you were to give some tips to all of us in the next few months as we enter some new world stressors, all sorts of things going on in the world with fears of second surges of the virus and all these kinds of things. What are some things that we can leave people with that they can navigate?
if you’re reading this, then you are taking care of yourself so continue to fill your consciousness with uplifting and healing content, because what you think is what over time, I believe manifests. There are things going on that are completely outside of any one of our individual control, but what we can control is our response. Continue to fill your mind with empowering content, continue to seek and explore and be on this journey of self-care and stay committed and devoted to yourself because ultimately everyone around you benefits when you are in your most aligned space.
Well said. Beautiful. A great way to end. I want to thank you again, Jennifer, for coming on and sharing all of this. It was great to reconnect with you.
Thank you so much. This was wonderful.
About Jennifer Goldman
I am a wellness entrepreneur by trade and mental health advocate and motivational speaker by heart, whose life-changing journey to wellbeing informs everything I do. Depression darkened every corner of my youth until a wilderness intervention at age 16 pulled me from my bed in the middle of the night and dropped me to live in the woods in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This sparked my journey to self-discovery and holistic healing, where I learned about survival, self-care, and leadership development.
Since then, I have achieved a Dual BA in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Skidmore College, become expert-certified in a diverse range of holistic healing practices, and acquired a unique skillset to thrive as a successful CEO, leader, and entrepreneur in my daily life. I am a 300-hour certified Advanced Clinical Aromatherapist, a three-times certified 200-hour Yoga Teacher in the Hatha, Vinyasa, and Kundalini traditions, a certified Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 practitioner, and an expert in Mindfulness Meditation and Positive Psychology. I have also completed 2,000+ hours in Emotional Growth and Leadership Development training.
As a senior in college, I incorporated Essential Rose LLC out of my campus dorm room, which has grown from a modest stove-top apothecary to the first-ever mood-enhancing beauty brand for radiant skin and total emotional wellbeing. Currently, we are looking for partners and investors to expand our manufacturing, grow our retail partnerships, and scale our e-commerce direct-to-consumer business.
Ultimately, my goal is to create a thriving, philanthropic wellness empire that shifts an outdated and toxic beauty industry paradigm where women’s insecurities and self-loathing are perpetuated through superficially-marketed products. Instead of selling beauty driven by external appearance, I am here to equip women with the products and skills they need to thrive and experience inner beauty and sustained self-love.